14 Nov 2011

Concerns raised about medical file access

11:21 am on 14 November 2011

Privacy lawyer John Edwards says doctors might withhold sensitive medical information from patients' computerised files if there is a chance records can be accessed by unauthorised employees at district health boards.

Full medical records, which can contain details of sexual and mental health, are being transferred from paper to electronic formats.

Mr Edwards says he knew of three cases, including that of a famous New Zealander, who reportedly had their medical records inappropriately accessed at the Capital & Coast DHB.

He says the information can be useful if it is used properly by authorised medical personnel, but there are more risks than are warranted if DHBs are careless with the information.