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​More extensive access to medical record details
 
According to the new Act, all public health care units in the HUS operating region treating a patient can access a patient’s data. This is possible, if the patient has been informed of the common patient data register and he or she has not forbidden the transfer of this information.
 
Successful patient care requires that the nursing staff have all necessary data available regarding the patient’s health status and examinations performed on him or her. It is therefore important that the details of the patient’s previous diseases and their treatment are available when the treatment is started and organisations can transfer this information.
 
The Finnish Health Care Act entered into force on 1 May 2011. According to it, the patient document and medical records of basic health care and specialised health care operating in the same hospital district form one common patient data register. A common patient register means that all staff members taking part in the patient’s care have access to the patient’s medical records. Staff members have this access right regardless of the organisation in which they work in the hospital district and regardless of the organisation where the entries in the medical records were made.
 
The data of psychiatric patients is subject to special confidentiality: If a patient who has received psychiatric treatment is treated in other units, doctors in these treatment units have access to the summary details from the psychiatric unit, but not the detailed records. However, these detailed medical records regarding the psychiatric treatment are available to other psychiatric units.
 
In addition, medical records regarding medical genetics have similar confidentiality as the medical records regarding psychiatry.
 
Patient data may only be used in the extent required by the treatment relationship. Furthermore, their use and transfer between organisations is continuously monitored for all patients and users with the help of log information.
 
However, if the patient so wishes, he or she can deny the transfer of his or her patient data from one patient data register in the HUS region to another. For example, a patient receiving specialised care can forbid the transfer of his or her data to the health centre or vice versa. The ban is valid for the time being and can be cancelled at any time.
 
If a patient transfers from specialised health care to receive further treatment at a unit under the social services, he or she must give written consent which allows the transfer of patient data.