Practice Privacy Statement
25th May 2018
Unit 1, Ballyboden Shopping Centre, Taylor’s Lane, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16
Practice Telephone No:
Lead Data Controller:
Dr. Patrick Smyth
Practice Privacy Statement
This practice wants to ensure the highest standard of medical care for our patients. We understand that a General Practice is a trusted community governed by an ethic of privacy and confidentiality. Our practices are consistent with the Medical Council guidelines and the privacy principles of the Data Protection Acts. We see our patients’ consent as being the key factor in dealing with their health information. The information provided below is about making consent meaningful by advising you of our policies and practices on dealing with your medical information.
Managing your Information
In order to provide for your care here we need to collect and keep information about you and your health on our records.
- We retain your information securely.
- We will only ask for and keep information that is necessary.
- We will ask you to inform us of any relevant changes that we should know about. This would include such things as any new treatments or investigations being carried out that we are not aware of. Please also inform us of any change of address or phone numbers.
- All persons in this practice sign a confidentiality agreement that explicitly makes clear their duties in relation to personal health information and the consequence of breaching that duty.
- Access to patient’s records is regulated to ensure that they are used only to the extent necessary to enable the secretary or practice manager to perform their tasks for the proper functioning of the practice.
Disclosure of Information to Other Health and Social Professionals
We may need to pass on some of your information to other health and social care professionals in order to provide you with the treatment and service you need. Only the relevant part of your record will be released. These professionals are also legally bound to treat your information with the same duty of care and confidentiality that we do.
Disclosures Required or Permitted Under Law
The law provides that in certain instances personal information (including health information) can be disclosed, for example in the case of infectious diseases. Disclosure to Employers, Insurance Companies and Solicitors:
- In general, work related Medical Certificates from you GP will only provide a confirmation that you are unfit for work with an indication of when you will be fit to resume work. If it is necessary to provide additional information, we will discuss this with you. However Social Welfare Certificates of incapacity to work must include the medical reason you are unfit to work.
- In the case of disclosures to insurance companies or requests made by solicitors for your records we will only release the information with your signed consent.
Use of Information for Training, Teaching and Quality Assurance
It is usual for GPs to discuss patient case histories as part of their continuing medical education or for the purpose of training GPs and/or medical students. In these situations the identity of the patient concerned will not be revealed.
Our practice is involved in the training of GPs and is attached to a General Practice Training Programme. As part of this programme GP Registrars will work in the practice and may be involved in your care.
In other situations, however, it may be beneficial for other doctors within the practice to be aware of patients with particular conditions and in such cases this practice would only communicate the information necessary to provide the highest level of care to the patient.
Use of Information for Research, Audit and Quality Assurance
It is usual for patient information to be used for these purposes in order to improve services and standards of practice. GPs are now required to perform audits. In general, information used for such purposes is done anonymously with all personal identifying information removed. If it were proposed to use your information in a way where it was not anonymous, we would discuss this further with you before proceeding and would seek your written informed consent.
Your Right of Access to Your Health Information
You have the right of access to all your personal information held about you by this practice. If you wish to see your records, discuss it with your doctor who will review the information in your record with you. You can also make a formal written request and receive a copy of your medical records. These will be provided to you within 30 days without cost.
Transferring to Another Practice
If you decide at any time to transfer to another practice we will facilitate that decision by making available to your new doctor a copy of your records on receipt of your signed consent form from your new doctor. For medico-legal reasons we also retain a copy of your records in this practice for an appropriate period of time which may exceed eight years.
Further information on these rights in the context of general practice is described in the Guideline available at http://www.icgp.ie/data. You also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Data Protection Commissioner.