The Information Commissioner’s Office (IOC) has published new guidance for health and social care organisations to provide clarity about how personal data is being used. 

Care Home Professional reports that the measure has been taken to ensure that these organisations are being as transparent as possible about sensitive information handling.

Digital care records are increasingly replacing paper records in care homes in the UK. This makes it quicker and easier to share information between healthcare professionals, care workers, and between different care settings. It can help to flag up issues and help staff to respond to them faster, and record information accurately at point of care.

However, the expansion of digital technology in the care sector also raises security concerns, and questions as to how the data is being stored and used, and who can access it. This is obviously a concern, because the records contain highly personal and sensitive information and naturally patients want to understand more about use and access. 

Anne Russell, head of regulatory policy projects at the ICO, said: “Being transparent is essential to building public trust in health and social care services. “

She added: “If people clearly understand how and why their personal information is being used, they are likely to feel empowered to share their health information to both access care and support initiatives such as medical research.”

“As new technologies are developed and deployed in the health sector, our personal information is becoming more important than ever to boost the efficiency and public benefit of these systems.”

Clear guidelines help to increase the sense of trust and cooperation between healthcare providers, residents and families. Effective use of data can also enable good quality research into healthcare issues, and help with the development of new strategies and treatments. 

2024-05-22T16:19:20+00:00April 15th, 2024|Blog|
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