“The CQC and Dame Fiona Caldicott recommendations provide welcomed guidance in the use and safeguarding of patient’s data, which can lay the foundations for restoring public trust in this area.
The recommendations call for health and care organisations to show greater leadership around data security, with a strong emphasis on providers. However, with suppliers being technology partners, we have an important role in supporting this approach and being responsive to necessary change. We at IMS MAXIMS are well-placed to support the recommendations around new data security standards, with protocols outlined in the report, such as regular password renewals and supporting the removal of inactive accounts already available or in use across our customer sites in the UK.
Patient consent is a very complex issue and we believe it is right and proper that there is a public consultation and ongoing involvement of patients in discussions about how their data will be shared. Of vital importance is clarity around the benefits of sharing information for wider health and care provision. Having built our software around the needs of patient care and frontline staff, we have the necessary data capture functionality in place to adopt the changes to opt-in and out protocols, but there needs to be agreement from all relevant stakeholders.
The integration of services is also reshaping the dynamics of confidentiality and changing the ‘circle of trust’ between provider organisations. Generic trust models could be created to address confidential requirements within an organisation, which allow data to be safely shared across care settings. Interoperability is also vital in underpinning effective trust agreements between organisations in the era of new models of care.
Dame Fiona’s recommendations build on previous Caldicott reports and are certainly useful both in terms of raising awareness of the challenges in managing patient data and working to address them. The evidence of success will no doubt be in how the public sector and its technology partners interpret and implement them effectively. The technology is available to adopt to the new recommended standards however educating users, and putting the necessary processes in place to enable change, is often the real challenge.”