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Data In Care Homes – The GDPR Nightmare In Practice

Data In Care Homes – The GDPR Nightmare In Practice

GDPR – the champion of personal rights. Revolutionising the way businesses collect, process store and delete personal information of any EU citizen. GDPR might sound simple on the surface, but the realities of implementing it are staggering. For some businesses, only a few changes are required, but many more complex businesses, like care homes, are struggling with how to approach GDPR compliance. This is especially true in any medical care facility, where the web of data stored and used can represent a real headache.

 

The Maze Of Data Usage

Providers of healthcare services, and in particular care homes, nursing homes and other care facilities, deal with a large volume of sensitive personal data. This data relates to their patients, carers and families – including potentially-vulnerable individuals and those not able to give consent on their own behalf. And that in itself represents a major problem. The healthcare sector has always been a maze of complex data usage. Combine this with the high levels of regulatory scrutiny and a significant reputational risk of getting compliance wrong, and GDPR should be on every organisation’s radar already. But while they are aware of it, many care homes aren’t sure how to approach GDPR for such a complicated business model, or if compliance is even possible.

 

What Does GDPR Mean In Practice?

In practice, GDPR affects almost every stage of care home operations. Let’s start with care commissioning. Commissioners will inevitably need to pass on personal data as part of the process of commissioning care for their patients. The data safeguarding responsibility will extend to any organisation that you supply with that data. This means that all facilities that provide data in the commission of care need to have secure systems and data protection protocols in place to handle and transfer that data safely.

 

At the other end, care providers could be exposed to risk if they are using legacy systems that are not designed with the latest standards of encryption and secure access. This is not an uncommon thing to find, and is likely to be the main issue care home encounter in their journey to GDPR compliance. The Information Commissioner’s Office would expect care providers to be certain that their system providers meet the GDPR requirements. If there is a breach, responsibility is shared between processors and controllers (i.e. commissioners and care providers).

 

At Tipac, we provide a dedicated digital content management system that helps care homes be compliant with GDPR requirements across the board. Our solutions are built on a robust framework, and are completely customisable for your system and usage needs. For more information, or to book a free demo, just get in touch today.