Opposition to digital patient records mounts, court case to go ahead
Monday 04 February 2013
The family doctors’ association Vereniging van Praktijkhoudende Huisartsen is pressing ahead with legal action against the introduction of a new electronic patient records system because its backers have failed to meet agreements on internet security and privacy.
The VPH said in December it would delay a planned court case because the organisers pledged to make improvements. Now, the VPH says, it has lost all trust in the system and will go to court, Nos television reports on Monday.
The digital patient record system was officially launched on January 1 and so far contains the medical details of some 400,000 people.
Doctors are supposed to ask patients for permission to include their records in the system. This will enable specialists, pharmacists and other heathcare professionals to have direct access to their details.
Last week, Amsterdam’s family doctors’ association, which has some 1,000 members, said it would not cooperate with the new system.
Amsterdam doctors have three main objections: the system will be vulnerable to hackers because of its size; patients will not be able to object to other healthcare professionals having access; and everyone with access will be able to read a summary of the patient’s last five visits to their doctor, including private information which is irrelevant to them.
The new set-up has been developed by doctors, hospitals and health insurers and is partly funded by the government. Health minister Edith Schippers gave assurances last year that health insurance companies will not have access to the new system.
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