Upgrades to the consent process

When we started PKB we deliberately chose a simple consent process for patients. Either the patient trusted someone with their full medical record, or they trusted them with none of the record. Patients trusted a small number of people with their full record and this was clear for everyone to understand.

Over the last year we have been working with medical professionals and with patient groups to test out a more sophisticated privacy model. The new model splits the record into general health, mental health, sexual health, and social care. We wanted it to allow more choice but maintain ease of use. You will see these changes in August, and these will also mean changes to the consent process.

For patients

The first time you log into your patient record with the new features the PKB software will review with you everyone who already has access to your record. You will see their permissions and change these to what you prefer.

The new page (screenshot below) will allow you to control:

  • the sharing of the four sections of your medical record
  • how to be contacted (email, SMS, post)
  • specific consent related to your hospital or clinical research that you might participating in

You can change your sharing settings at any time by going to ‘Sharing’ > ‘Professionals’.


For professionals

In August you will see the following new features:

  • Improved look on patient search page
This is using the modern user interface that patients already had but now works on older web browsers like Internet Explorer 7 and modern smartphones with small screens
This is using the modern user interface that patients already had but now works on older web browsers like Internet Explorer 7 and modern smartphones with small screens
  • Improved consent process

When you find the record of a patient but do not have consent to see the record the PKB software will show you this page with three choices:


  • I want to ask the patient for permission (start consent process)

This is to ask the patient directly for consent. Turn the screen around so the patient can see:

  1. A quick video introducing PKB
  2. Randomly generated username and password so that you can print off for your patient to immediately access their record
  3. Consent section where you and your patient can talk through specific areas of the medical record that the patient is comfortable with sharing

All choices are logged and the patient and their carers will be notified.


  • Our team already has permission

Choose this option if your patient had given you implicit or explicit consent previously. Again, all choices are logged and the patient will be notified.


  • I need emergency access for the patient’s safety

This is the ‘break-the-glass’ feature. Choose it for emergencies or if the patient is not capable of informed consent. Not only will the patient and carer be notified by the privacy officer of your organization, your organization will also receive a report that you had used this feature.


We hope you like these new features. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for improvement we would love to hear from you.

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