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Algemeen Dagblad, 21 May 2015: 'Patient yearns for electronic record'

Sick person wants to access and complete data online himself

Patients want to access their medical records online. They find it important to monitor their condition themselves, which makes treatment better.

Being able to see at a glance what doctors are saying about you, what comes out of a blood test and being able to raise the alarm immediately if treatment causes problems. More and more people are yearning for a Personal Health Record (PGD), reports patient federation NPCF based on research among more than 11,000 members.

In 2011, the similar Electronic Patient Record (EPD) was still shot down by the Senate for fear of abuse. The EPD was intended only for doctors. The patient had no say in it. With the PGD, the patient decides with whom he shares it.

Although most interviewees are not yet familiar with the PGD, the vast majority see reason to use it in the future. For instance, they think a PGD will be useful if they become chronically ill, or if they find that healthcare providers do not know everything about each other. 16 per cent do not see a need for the PGD.

"A digital record can prevent a patient from having to tell their story over and over again. Think of a parkinson's patient who goes to several hospitals, with a GP and physio in addition," says NPCF president Wilna Wind.

More importantly, Wind believes that patients can monitor their own condition: pain scores, insulin levels, side effects. "He can share these immediately with care providers and that benefits treatment."

For now, only a few hospitals work with digital records, let alone that their systems are linked. Moreover, there are still privacy issues.

The Privacy First Foundation, a staunch opponent of the SPD, sees that chronically ill people can benefit from digital records, but doubts that patient data will be secure.

By 2020, everyone should have access to a PGD, the NPCF believes. Minister Schippers (Care, VVD) welcomes this, and wants to remove rules that hinder it.

Funding should come from insurers and the government, the NPCF believes. It also shows 33 per cent of patients are willing to pay up to 20 euros a year."

Source: Algemeen Dagblad 21 May 2015, front page. Also published on