GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and came into effect on 25th May 2018. Businesses and organisations, including care homes and providers, need to ensure they are compliant with the current regulations.
GDPR was a hot topic early last year, with every business trying to wrap their heads around what they need to do. We’ve put this guide together to help illustrate how those working in health and social care can leverage a GDPR compliant piece of software, like CareDocs, to help in how they collect and manage sensitive data.
What is the Purpose of GDPR?
GDPR’s function is to create a single data protection law across Europe, and to help create more transparency in how personal data is collected, used, and transferred by organisations of any capacity.
Care homes naturally deal with a lot of sensitive data concerning their residents, so these GDPR rulings can only be seen as a good thing for the healthcare system, ensuring that resident data is handled and managed to the highest standards.
The advances in technology mean healthcare providers are digitalising their operations and systems. This in itself is often a step closer to better data handling, as paper records are harder to monitor. It is also much easier to leverage digital technologies to store data in a practical and secure system.
But whatever systems and procedures are in place, the way this is kept and used, needs to be highlighted to ensure businesses don’t mishandle or misuse personal data.
How CareDocs Offers a GDPR Compliant Solution
Privacy and security is a key feature in all our products and services here at CareDocs. Cloud based care planning is at the heart of CareDocs and as well as providing a quick and easy way to carry out comprehensive assessments, that you can turn into fully personalised care plans in a matter of minutes.
Our cloud-based platform helps reduce security risks and deliver everything care providers need to maintain the best service to their residents.
To comply with GDPR, we ensure that:
1. Consent is obtained to keep personal data
CareDocs care assessments includes specific questions that establish consent to keep personal data for the purposes of supporting an individual’s health and social care needs.
This is a key element of the GDPR legislation, so we ensure it is clear for both care providers and residents when and how consent is given. This helps residents understand what data CareDocs will use and how.
Stopping data sharing isn’t what GDPR is trying to combat – instead, it is about limiting the misuse of personal data. To benefit residents, care providers can still share data to provide the best quality care, but this should be understood and discussed with residents first.
2. Access to personal data is restricted
CareDocs restricts access through our in-built security interface. Audit logs are held when care files are accessed, added to or amended.
This means personal and sensitive data can be stored confidently and care homes don’t need to worry about who has access to the data. Accountability is a key development in GDPR in comparison to the Data Protection Act 1998, so understanding who has access to what, is important. You can be held accountable for certain misuse or breeches 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 is secured through its entire lifecycle
All data for CareDocs is stored in encrypted format, meaning that the data is secure from time of entry to eventual deletion / archiving.
Encryption is a way of encoding a message or piece of information in such a way that only authorised parties can access it and interpret it. Using encrypted data means the information stored with CareDocs is secure. This limits the potential risk of data breeches and other cybersecurity risks. This is important for any organisation, but particularly those handling sensitive data such as care homes.
4. Personal data that is no longer necessary is deleted
CareDocs has the facility to remove data for individuals after a specified period and also to delete an individual’s personal data should consent be withdrawn.
We have the ability to delete any information a resident may want to remove, as well as designing a system that doesn’t store unnecessary data and personal information. This ensures our software is lean in the data it holds, to give residents peace of mind, that only necessary information and data is held.
By communicating this effectively to residents and their families, care homes can benefit from a more transparent relationship between themselves and their residents.
5. Data collection is minimised
CareDocs only keeps personal information relevant to an individual’s health and social care needs for their own best interests and for legal compliance.
We don’t collect more data than is required, which limits the storage and management of unnecessary data.
Learn More About CareDocs
Here at CareDocs, our aim is to offer practical solutions for health care providers. Our cloud-based software means those that need to access any data, 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 our solutions, get in touch with our friendly team today. We can help ensure you get the software needed to be GDPR compliant as well as efficient and cost-effective for day-to-day care home services.
Designed by care home owners, CareDocs offers all the features that you’ll need to ensure the smooth running of your care home.