From May 2018 Europe’s data protection rules will undergo their biggest changes in two decades. Since they were created in the 1990s, the amount of digital information we create, capture and store has vastly increased. Simply put the old regime was no longer fit for purpose.
The solution is the mutually agreed European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will come in to force on May 25th 2018 and become part of Guernsey Law. It will change how businesses and public sector organisations can handle the information of customers.
GDPR means that we at our dental practice will be more accountable for handling peoples information and as such we have updated our data protection policies.
Data Protection Code of Practice
Our data protection code of practice lays out our procedures that ensure our dental practice and our employees comply with the Data Protection law, 2001 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 16/679)
What personal Data Do We Hold?
To provide patients with a high standard of dental care we need to hold their personal information. This personal data can include:
- Past and current medical and dental conditions; personal details such as age, address, telephone number and general medical practitioner.
- Radiographs, clinical photographs and study models.
- Information about their treatment that we have provided or proposed and its cost.
- Notes on conversations or incidents that might occur for which a record needs to be kept.
- Records of consent to treatment.
- Any correspondence relating to them and other health care professionals, for example in the hospital or Medical Specialist Group.
Why do we hold information about you?
We need to keep comprehensive and accurate personal data about patients to provide you with a safe and appropriate dental care. We will ask you regularly to update your medical history and contact details.
We will retain your dental records and orthodontic study models while you are a practice patient and after you cease to be a patient. For at least 11 years, or for children until the age of 25, which ever is longer.
Security of Information
Personal data about you is held in the practice’s computer system, and/or in a lockable manual filing system. The information is only accessible to authorised team members. Our computer system has secure audit trails and we back up regularly.
Disclosure of Information
To provide proper and safe dental care we may need to disclose personal information about you to:
- Your general medical practitioner
- Other health organisations caring for you
- Private dental schemes of which you are a member
- Specialist medical groups
- Agents and third parties as required by legal and law
Disclosure will take place on a need-to-know basis. Only those individuals/organisations who need to know to provide care for you and for the proper administration of government (whose personnel are covered by strict confidentiality rules) will be given the information.
In very limited circumstances or when required by law or a court order, personal data may have to be disclosed to a third party not connected with your healthcare. In all other situations, disclosure that is not covered by this code of practice will only occur when we have your specific consent. Where possible you will be informed of these requests for disclosure.
Access to Your Records
You have the right to access the data that we hold about you and to receive a copy. Parents may access their childs records if this is in the childs best interests and not contrary to a competent childs wishes. Formal applications for access must be put in writing to the practice manager.
If You do Not Agree
If you do not wish personal data that we hold about you to be disclosed or used in the way that is described in this code of practice, please discuss the matter with your dentist. You have the right to object; however, this may affect our ability to provide you with dental care.
You have the right to withdraw your consent at any time.