An increasing number of countries are implementing patient access to electronic health records (EHR). However, EHR access for parents, children and adolescents presents ethical challenges of data integrity, and regulations vary across providers, regions, and countries. In the present study, we compare EHR access policy for parents, children and adolescents in four countries. Documentation from three areas: upper age limit of minors for which parents have access; age at which minors obtain access; and possibilities of access restriction and extension was collected from Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Estonia. Results showed that while all systems provided parents with automatic proxy access, age limits for its expiry differed. Furthermore, a lower minimum age than 18 for adolescent access was present in two of four countries. Differences between countries and potential implications for adolescents are discussed. We conclude that experiences of various approaches should be explored to promote the development of EHR regulations for parents, children and adolescents that increases safety, quality, and equality of care.
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