Looking Back at GDPR

On the 25th May 2018, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) came into effect for European Union members, and its implications also extended to countries outside the EU. This meant that businesses and organisations, including care homes and care providers, would need to ensure they handle personal data in a specific way to be compliant. When GDPR was first introduced, it seemed every business spent a while trying to wrap their heads around what they needed to do. But now the dust has settled, we wanted to take a look at how CareDocs helps care businesses collect and manage data.

Just to recap, the personal data protected by GDPR is anything which can help identify an individual. This can be a name, ID number (such as a passport or National Insurance), location data or online address, including email or IP. More sensitive information is also protected: genetic data, bio-metric data, race or ethnicity, political opinions, trade union membership, sexual preferences and most relevant to the care sector, health and care information. Penalties for not protecting sensitive data can be far greater than the basic personal information, so it’s crucial GDPR is understood and practiced throughout your business.

GDPR also grants more rights to the individuals who have supplied their personal information. For example, businesses must only ask for relevant and necessary data, it must be kept secure and up to date, and should be deleted when it is no longer needed or when requested to be removed by the individual.

What is the Purpose of GDPR?

EU GDPR was designed to create a single data protection law across Europe, and to help provide more transparency in how personal data is collected, used, and transferred by organisations of any capacity. The UK is due to leave the European Union on December 31st 2020, so until then, EU GDPR will remain in effect. UK businesses that continue to operate within the EU after this date will still be required to abide by the EU laws. But that doesn’t mean things will change in 2021. In 2018, the UK introduced its own Data Protection Act, meaning once we exit the EU, the laws regarding how personal data is obtained, managed and stored for domestic businesses will largely still apply.

Care homes naturally deal with a lot of sensitive data concerning their residents. GDPR ensures that this data is obtained and managed to the highest standards, which is great news for the people in your care. Many healthcare businesses are now digitising their operations and systems to provide an improved service and to take advantage of various efficient benefits, including GDPR compliance. Paper records are riskier to keep and harder to monitor. Going digital leads to better data handling and it’s easier to utilise technology to store data in a practical and secure system.

How CareDocs Offers a GDPR Compliant Solution

Privacy and security are just as important as any other key benefit. We have to make sure it’s built into every aspect of CareDocs, especially as we continue to move towards internet-based, mobile technologies. For example, point of care recording and remote assessments have become valuable, time-saving tools for providing person-centred care, as well as creating fully personalised care plans. But they must be carried out under proper conditions to protect the resident and your business.

Here are five ways we help you comply with GDPR:

1. Consent is obtained to keep personal data

CareDocs care assessments include specific questions that establish consent to keep personal data for the purposes of supporting an individual’s health and social care needs. We ensure it’s clear for both the care provider and resident when and how consent is given. This helps residents understand what data you will use and how.

2. Access to personal data is restricted

CareDocs restricts access through our in-built security interface, allowing you to control who can access specific information. Audit logs are held when care files are accessed, added to or amended. This means personal and sensitive data can be stored confidently and you won’t need to worry about who has access to the data. Accountability is a key factor in GDPR. You can be held accountable for certain misuse or breaches of data, so having processes and systems in place that have privacy inherently designed into them, is the best way to ensure compliance.

3. Data remains secure

All data is stored in an encrypted format, meaning that the data is secure from the time of entry to eventual deletion or archiving. Encryption is a way of encoding a message or piece of information in such a way that only authorised parties can access it. This limits the potential risk of data breaches and other cyber-security risks. This is important for any business, but particularly those handling sensitive data such as care homes.

For our CareDocs Cloud package, we use a highly secure, cloud-based server to help reduce security risks and deliver everything care providers need to maintain the best service to their residents.

4. Personal data that is no longer necessary is deleted

To ensure our software only holds necessary information, CareDocs has the facility to remove data for individuals after a specified period of time and also to delete an individual’s personal data should consent be withdrawn. By communicating this effectively to your residents and their families, you can benefit from a more transparent and trusting relationship.

5. Data collection is minimised

For your residents’ own best interests and for legal compliance, CareDocs only collects personal information which is relevant to an individual’s health and social care needs. We don’t ask for any more data than is required, which limits the storage and management of unnecessary data.

Learn More About CareDocs

Our aim is to offer practical solutions for all health care providers. CareDocs Local, our offline package, ensures data remains encrypt at all levels. Our cloud-based software, CareDocs Cloud, means those that need information remotely, no matter the location and time, can access it simply and effectively. It also reduces the need for USB backups or emailing sensitive data. Instead, those working in care homes, can have a system that helps record and manage all the data in one place.

To learn more about CareDocs and how we can help transform your business, get in touch with our friendly team today. We can help ensure you get the software you need to be GDPR compliant as well as an efficient and cost-effective system packed full of other benefits for care homes.

Designed by care home owners, CareDocs offers a range of features to ensure the smooth running of your care home. Get in touch today or book a demo now.

Sources

Which: www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/what-counts-as-personal-data-according-to-gdpr

GDPR Associates: www.gdpr.associates/gdpr-brexit/

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