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Health Records

Health records lie at the heart of the healthcare system. Digitisation is making it easier than ever to record and access patient data. But what do people think about their health records and, importantly, who do they think should have access?

Who do you think should be allowed access to patients`records?

Building trust and transparency is key

An overwhelming majority of the public (92%) are happy for their health records to be shared across the health system. Yet most don’t know how to access their own records. And while increasing numbers are embracing digital apps and smart devices to monitor their health and wellbeing, most UK adults are wary of the tech companies behind these products and don’t trust them to use their data appropriately.

Nearly 50% don`t trust tech companies with their healthcare data
  • 92% of UK adults are happy to have their health records shared between different parts of the healthcare system.
  • Nearly 50% don't trust new health technology companies or health apps with their healthcare data.
  • Only 20% are comfortable with their health records being accessed by healthcare apps and 16% by healthcare technology companies.

With access to patient data, tech companies can do a great deal to help improve healthcare - potentially alleviating pressure on the system, providing faster diagnosis for patients and aiding developments in medical research. But there’s a need to build trust. Being transparent and demonstrating how accessing patient data would not present a risk, but instead be of benefit to both patients and the overall healthcare system, is key to their success.

80% have never accessed their own health records

The awareness gap

Even in this digital age, four in five UK adults (80%) say they have never accessed their own health records.

Of these, the vast majority (88%) say they would not know how to access their health records even if they wanted to, exposing the need for greater transparency and improved communications by the NHS in this area.

Sharing is caring

Most people are receptive to having their health records shared within the healthcare system to help create an efficient service and improve healthcare for everyone.

  • 85% think it’s important to have a centralised system where healthcare professionals in different places are able to see patients’ records in one place.
  • 71% believe it's important for data to be shared for research purposes into certain conditions
71% believe it is important to share data for medical research purposes
Less than half of UK adults think their health information is safe online

Online security is a concern

While most people are open to sharing health records, online security is a major concern.

Less than half of UK adults (49%) think their information is safe when stored in an online system, with 17% saying it is unsafe.

Only 30% said they would consider joining a new online service that allowed them to share their health records with different healthcare organisations.

Patients Know Best

Patients Know Best (PKB) is a web based service that allows patients to take control of their healthcare 24/7. It is the only system of its kind that stores information behind the secure NHS N3 network, but provides access via any web-enabled device anywhere, anytime.

Using PKB gives patients the ability to bring together all of their medical data, connect to wearable devices, communicate with their health network and track their signs and symptoms. It benefits everybody including clinicians, researchers and charities as the information about patients is accessible by all those that need it to help them, while allowing patients to remain in control of who can access what.

Safe, secure and approved for use by the NHS, the service was created by a doctor with a long-term illness who, over the years, noticed that his clinical team relied on him to know important information. This was not because he was a doctor but because he was the only one present at all the different appointments. This is how “patients know best”.

The service is already used by clinical teams and patients across the world and translates into 19 languages. To view a demo and some case studies go to  

Patients Know Best

All data is based on a survey of 2001 UK adults carried out by Opinium in October 2017.

Contact us

Quentin  Cole

Quentin Cole

Leader of Industry for Government and Health Industries, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7770 303846

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