869 ac­cess queries on pa­tient records

Western Mail - - NEWS -

CON­CERNS that staff at north Wales hos­pi­tals might be ac­cess­ing pa­tient med­i­cal records they shouldn’t be were flagged up more than 800 times in the last two years.

Since a new sys­tem was brought in in 2016, 869 po­ten­tial in­ci­dents for con­cern were raised.

But Betsi Cad­wal­adr Uni­ver­sity Health Board said while cer­tain ac­cess might be queried, the sys­tem might be flag­ging le­git­i­mate ac­cess at­tempts – such as where the staff might have the same sur­name as a pa­tient but be no re­la­tion.

A spokesman for the health board said: “Staff sign an ‘ac­cept­able use’ pol­icy when they use our IT systems, and com­plete manda­tory train­ing on in­for­ma­tion gov­er­nance ev­ery two years.

“Where sus­pected in­ap­pro­pri­ate ac­cess is found proven, an in­ci­dent man­age­ment process and the ‘All Wales Dis­ci­plinary Pol­icy’ is fol­lowed.

“We reg­u­larly re­mind staff about the need to com­ply with the ac­cept­able use pol­icy and we ran a cam­paign to raise aware­ness and re­mind staff of their roles and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties re­gard­ing ac­cess­ing pa­tient in­for­ma­tion be­fore the launch of the Na­tional In­tel­li­gent In­te­grated Au­dit So­lu­tion sys­tem in April 2016.

“It’s im­por­tant to note that there are a range of le­git­i­mate ex­pla­na­tions be­hind why an ‘in­ci­dent of con­cern’ would be recorded, such as pa­tients with com­mon sur­names match­ing with staff, or staff hav­ing sim­i­lar home ad­dresses to a pa­tient.

“The data shared in the Freedom of In­for­ma­tion re­quest only de­tails po­ten­tial in­ci­dents, rather than breaches in con­fi­den­tial data.”

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