Patient Confidentiality Policy
L Ziman and Associates Ltd are committed to complying with the requirements of the legislation governing patient confidentiality including: Access to Health Records 1998, Caldecott Guidelines 1977, Confidentiality Code of Practice 1998, Data Protection Act 1998 and the GDC standards for Dental Professionals 2005 on the Principles of patient Confidentially.
For the purpose of this policy confidential information as personal information provided by an individual in confidence including but not limited to, such details as name, age address personal circumstances, race, health, sexuality etc. Note that even the fact that a patient attends the practice is confidential. This information may be supplied or stored on any medium and include images, videos, health records, computer records or verbally.
All staff members are aware of their responsibilities for safeguarding confidentiality and keeping information secure and have received appropriate training on the legislation requirements to ensure that:
• No personal information given or received in confidence is passed on to anyone else without prior consent of the information provider
• No personal information given or received in confidence for one purpose is used for another purpose without the prior consent of the information provider
• Patients are entitled to object to the use of their confidential information for any other purpose than their care
• The duty of confidentiality to deceased patients is treated in the same way as that of living patients
• The rules of disclosure are strictly followed every time information is passed on to another person or organisation.
Personal information is only disclosed to another person when:
1. The patient consent has been obtained
2. The disclosure is in the patients best interest (referral)
3. The information recipient falls under the category of ‘needs to know basis’ and is directly involved in patient care or the use is justified for the purposes described in the list of circumstances in the ‘Disclosure on a need to know basis’ section
4. Disclosure is required by a court or a court order
5. Disclosure is required by law
6. Information is requested by the police in order to detect or prevent serious crime.
L Ziman and Associates treats breaches of confidentiality very seriously. No team member shall knowingly misuse any confidential information or allow others to do so. Non-compliance with this policy may result in a disciplinary action.
The practice follows the GDC guidelines ‘Principles of Patient Consent’. All clinical team members providing treatment requiring consent are adequately trained and ensure that the patient has:
• Enough information to make a decision (informed consent)
• Made a decision (voluntary decision-making)
• The ability to make an informed decision (ability)
The nature of treatment (NHS or Private) and all charges are clarified to the patient before it commences and he/she is provided with a written treatment plan and cost estimate. All team members are aware that once the consent has been given it may be withdrawn at any time and they will respect the patient’s decision. If the team member is uncertain about the patient’s ability to give informed consent they will consult their dental defence organisation for advice.