Journal of Primary Health Care Journal of Primary Health Care Society
Journal of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Patient portals and young people: addressing the privacy dilemma of providing access to health information

Deanne Wong , Sebastian Morgan-Lynch


Patient portals enable people to access their health information electronically, but concerns about confidentiality and privacy breaches particularly for young people, may be impeding portal adoption in New Zealand. This paper considers the legal and ethical framework relating to heath information privacy and informed consent in New Zealand, and proposes an approach to implementing patient portals for young people. Shared portal access (where both a young person and their parent or guardian have access to the young person’s portal) may be appropriate for a young child whose parents or guardians are responsible for their health care. However, as young people mature and their capacity to make health care decisions increases, general practitioners will need to consider shifting to independent portal access by the competent young person. The circumstances of each young person including their best interests and rights, cultural needs and their views on information disclosure should be taken into account.

HC17037  Accepted 26 September 2017

© CSIRO 2017