Just 1 per cent of general practices are providing patients with online access to electronic health records, it has been clamed.
According to a report by think tank 2020Health, the use of Personal Health Records, which allow patients to add and organise personal health information and access records when they wish, led to an increase in patient satisfaction, and better health outcomes.
However, widespread use of the records will require 'significant behavioural change' from general practices, with the vast majority yet to fully embrace such technology.
John Cruickshank, author of the report said: 'The benefits of electronic records access are most palpable to those living with chronic conditions or disability, whose care accounts for 70 per cent of all NHS spending.
'What's most important here is that in order for such a system to work, a major change in culture and attitude is required. Patients need to move from being passive recipients of care to being much more involved in its planning and management. The evidence increasingly suggests that patients who engage in this way enjoy far better health outcomes.'