From May 2018 Europe’s data protection rules will undergo their biggest changes in two decades. Since the old Data Protection Act was created in the 1990s, the amount of digital information we create, capture, and store has vastly increased.
The solution to this is the mutually agreed European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force on May 25th 2018. It will change how businesses and public-sector organisations handle the information of customers.
GDPR means that we at Birkbeck Dentistry will be more accountable for the handling of people’s personal information and, whilst we have always taken the data security of our patients very seriously indeed, we are writing to let you know what the GDPR will mean in relation to the data we hold on you.
What personal data do we hold?
To provide patients with a high standard of dental care and attention, we need to hold their personal information. This personal data can include:
- Past and current medical and dental condition; 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 propose and its cost
- Notes of 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
Why do we hold information about you?
We need to keep comprehensive and accurate personal data about patients to provide you with safe and appropriate dental care. We will ask you yearly to update your medical history and contact details.
We will retain your dental records and orthodontic study models whilst you are a practice patient and after you cease to be a patient, for at least eleven years, or for children until age 25, whichever is the longer.
Security of information
Personal data about you is held in the practice’s computer system and/or in a locked filing system. The information is only accessible to authorized team members. Our computer system has secure audit trails and we back up information routinely.
Disclosure of information
To provide proper and safe dental care we may need to disclose personal information about you to:
- Your general medical practitioner
- Your GP, hospital or other Dental Services
- Other health professionals caring for you
- Private dental schemes of which you are a member
- 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 this information in order to provide care for you 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 health care. 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 of access to the data that we hold about you and to receive a copy. Parents may access their child’s records if this is in the child’s best interests and not contrary to a competent child’s wishes. Formal applications for access must be 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 us in the first instance. You have the right to object; however, this may affect our ability to provide you with dental care.
You have a right to withdraw your consent at any time, however this will not be retrospective.