The National Health Service (NHS) should make its patient records digital by 2016, and should be required by law to release a patient's information when appropriate, reports IT news service Computer Weekly.
That's according to the BCS - the Chartered Institute for IT - who announced its advice in response to the recent consultation published by the Department of Health, titled 'Liberating the NHS; An information revolution'.
The consultation claimed that the NHS lacked the adequate IT systems to partake in an "information revolution", according to Public Service.
BCS believes that all organisations within the NHS should go digital, and should "include rapidly setting standards with roadmaps for information management that are stable, enabling ICT suppliers to rapidly innovate solutions for health and care."
It also calls for freedom of information on patient records, however industry body Intellect is worried about where this would lead, with a representative voicing his concerns.
"A cultural change will be required if patients are to become active 'information consumers', confidently handling their own medical records and choosing between providers and services," says Lindberg.
Additionally, a qualified GP and medical IT specialist, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, has expressed his expert opinion: "While the principle of patients controlling aspects of their records is a good one, there must be safeguards to reduce the risks involved in sharing such sensitive data."
"Even if a patient validly decides to share part of their records, for example via an online support forum, they will effectively lose control once posting it. The role of clinicians in helping patients protect their own data will be vital."