Patient Data Act for safer care



Dalarna County Council

Box 712 S-791 29 Falun, Sweden 023-49 00 00

The Patient Data Act (Patientdatalagen) stipulates that medical records must be kept for all patient care. The medical records support the work of health care professionals, enabling them to provide good, safe care.

The information is classified, and the Patient Data Act has strict regulations on how the information may be used by the health care providers' staff. All staff within the health care service are also bound by professional secrecy. The information is stored (archived) for a long time, and purging is subject to special rules.

Examples of information that is held:

  • visits to care centres, hospital outpatient departments
  • visits to dental clinics, technical aid centres
  • care visits to hospital clinics
  • examinations, operations, measures and any deviations
  • diagnoses
  • patient fees
  • medicines

Coordinated medical record-keeping

The Patient Data Act allows health care staff to access your patient data regardless of where you have received your care. This helps staff to administer the right medication and treatment and means that you do not have to repeat your care history when you go to a new care provider. The information is protected from unauthorised access. Other county councils, private health care providers and municipal care are examples of care providers that will gradually be incorporated into the coordinated medical record-keeping together with the County Council of Dalarna.

Locking information

If you do not want your information to be available to health care staff outside the care unit where it was entered, you can ask for your information to be locked. You will then limit the care system's ability to offer you good, safe care. If you would like to lock your medical records, a risk assessment should be carried out together with you to give you an overview of the consequences of locking the data.

  • In the County Council of Dalarna, you can lock your information to prevent access by other care providers, e.g., care centres and hospital clinics.
  • If you do not consent to coordinated medical record-keeping, you can lock your medical records to prevent care providers from sharing your data. For example, you can prevent a private care provider from accessing the data held about you by the County Council of Dalarna.
  • If you would like to lock your information, contact your care centre or clinic verbally or in writing. You can ask to have the information unlocked at any time.
  • If you have serious health issues and are unable to inform your care provider yourself, the information can be unlocked temporarily if the data are necessary for your care.
  • Parents and guardians do not have the right to lock data about their children.

Consent to data access

The first time the County Council needs to know more about care you have received from other care providers, it will ask for your consent to access the data. Your consent is registered in the computer system.

Only staff with which you have a current care relation have the right, with your consent, to access your medical records, provided the staff need the information in their work to care for you. You may withdraw your consent at any time.

Who has read my medical records?

Only persons who need the information in their work to provide care for you have the right to read your medical records. This applies to medical records on paper and in electronic form. The County Council of Dalarna has electronic medical records and can therefore trace who has accessed your medical records. As a patient, you have the right to find out who has accessed your medical records. Contact your care centre or clinic to receive this information.

Referral to other care units

When you are referred to another care unit, you consent to the recipient party accessing such care information about you as has been deemed necessary by a doctor with patient responsibility in order to decide on your continued care or treatment.

National quality registers

The care providers collect information on treatment and results for different patient groups from the whole of Sweden in national quality registers. We then use the results to make improvements. By participating in the national quality registers, you contribute to improving the care service. As a patient, you have a right to know who your personal data may be given to or if your data are taken from a source other than the medical records or from you. You can also have your data removed or decline registration in the national quality registers.

Personal data representative

The Executive Committee of the County Council is responsible for the processing of personal data within the County Council of Dalarna. Private and municipal care providers are responsible for the processing of personal data. In accordance with the Personal Data Act (Personuppgiftslagen, PUL), the County Council has appointed a personal data representative (PUO) whose task is to ensure that personal data are process legally and correctly.

Collecting and giving out personal data

Details about all address changes and some personal changes (e.g. name or civil status) are obtained from the Swedish National Tax Board's national population register. In some cases, the County Council releases personal data to other authorities, national health registers and care providers that are not part of the coordinated medical patient records. Every release of data is tried according to the Public Access to information and Secrecy Act (Offentlighets- och sekretesslagen).

Right to information according to PUL

As a patient, you have a right to know what data are held about you in the County Council's computer system. You can request a copy of your personal data by submitting a written, signed application to the care unit with which you have been in contact or to the personal data representative. You may request one copy of the data free of charge per calendar year.

Amending incorrect and misleading details

If you believe that any of the data held about you are incorrect, the personal data representative has a duty to correct, block or remove the data as soon as possible, unless this is in contravention of other legislation such as, for example, the Patient Data Act.

Right to claim damages

If your personal data have been processed in contravention of the Patient Data Act, the Personal Data Act or the Secrecy Act, the County Council can in some cases compensate you for damages or violation of personal integrity.

Contact us

You can contact the personal data representative: Personuppgiftsombudet, Landstinget Dalarna, Box 712, 791 29 Falun, Sweden.