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Various regional dailies, 21 May 2015: 'Being in charge of own care file'

Patients want to see their medical records. They find it important to monitor their condition themselves.

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

Although most respondents are not yet familiar with this digital record, the vast majority see reason to use it in the future. For instance, they think a PGD will come in handy if they become chronically ill, or if they notice that healthcare providers do not know everything about each other. 16 per cent of respondents do not see the PGD as a good idea.

"A digital record can prevent a patient from having to tell their story over and over again. Think of a Parkinson's patient who visits several hospitals, as well as having contact with a GP and a physiotherapist," says NPCF president Wilna Wind. More importantly, Wind believes that the patient can monitor his condition himself: pain scores, insulin levels, side effects. "He can share these immediately with care providers and that benefits treatment," she says.

For now, only a few hospitals work with a digital record, let alone that their systems are linked. The software differs for each PGD and there are still all kinds of privacy issues. Fear of abuse caused the Electronic Patient Record (EPD) to be swept aside by the Senate in 2011. Wind: "The PGD is different because it is managed by patients instead of doctors."

Privacy First Foundation, a staunch opponent of the SPD, sees that chronically ill people can benefit from a personal digital record, but doubts that the data is secure. There should therefore be 'patient confidentiality', because medical confidentiality does not adequately protect patients from third parties such as insurers and employers. This was also stated by the Public Health Council last year.

By 2020, PGD should be available to everyone, the NPCF believes. Minister Schippers (Care, VVD) welcomes this and wants to remove rules that hinder this. Wind: "We are putting our shoulders to the wheel together. Doctors also see the benefits."

Source: AD/Amersfoortse Courant, BN/DeStem, Brabants Dagblad, Dagblad van het Noorden, Dagblad de Limburger, De Gelderlander, Twentsche Courant Tubantia, Eindhovens Dagblad, Leeuwarder Courant, Limburgs Dagblad & Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant, 21 May 2015.