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13-02-2007, 03:33 PM   #1
Susie

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Default staff access to their own and family records

I am about to send a memo out to staff members regarding confidentiaity. I have blocked access to the medical records of all staff working here but feel the need to block off access to their family members also. It has come to my attention that a member of staff have accessed the notes of a family member and given out incorrect information about a result. The partners feel that there is no need to block access to family member, but I do. They feel a reminder is okay, what do you do?
Thanks for you help

Susie
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13-02-2007, 04:20 PM   #2
hina

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Default Re: staff access to their own and family records

we don't employ staff that are our patients, or have immediate family members that are our patients. i didnt think it was allowed either but there's nothing to confirm that...

not sure how you can get around the issue but you could try to implement a policy where staff can not deal with queries made by family members? that way it could simplify the issue and in the event of any mishaps at least you have your back covered by having the policy in place which the staff should have followed. make sure it's written and a copy is given to your staff.

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19-02-2007, 04:32 PM   #3
GaryE

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Default Re: staff access to their own and family records

Suzie,
We have a policy that staff are not allowed to be patients at our Practice, but this does not apply to family members. I encourage staff to not have their immediate family as patients, especially their children, but I don't really feel we have any firm grounds for this position. With regard to the staff member and relaying information - I think this is a total breach of Patient Confidentiality and would be looking to throw the proverbial book at them! All staff with us, must sign a Patient Confidentiality form and be aware that this is a serious matter - and disciplinary action will be taken if it is breached. It could be a useful learning point for all members of staff, but you must be strong on Confidentiality issues I would suggest.
Hope this view helps.
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19-02-2007, 05:10 PM   #4
ddugmore

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Default Re: staff access to their own and family records

We have a policy that unless a family member has signed an agreement that they have no objection to their records being seen then access is blocked for any employee to their family records.

Under no circumstance do we allow access to other employee's records.
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20-02-2007, 11:18 AM   #5
DOLINA

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Default Re: staff access to their own and family records

Although it is better not to employ family members in the practice this is not always practical especially in rural areas. One way round it would be to write to all family members asking their opinion and perhaps asking them to sign an agreement so that they are aware that the family member may have access to parts of their records. This could supplement the confidentiality agreement that staff sign and ensure that patients are aware of who has access to their records and also it may be useful as evidence were a complaint to arise.
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21-02-2007, 12:36 PM   #6
gillmccormick

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Default Re: staff access to their own and family records

Quote:
Originally Posted by Susie View Post
I am about to send a memo out to staff members regarding confidentiaity. I have blocked access to the medical records of all staff working here but feel the need to block off access to their family members also. It has come to my attention that a member of staff have accessed the notes of a family member and given out incorrect information about a result. The partners feel that there is no need to block access to family member, but I do. They feel a reminder is okay, what do you do?
Thanks for you help

Susie
In a previous practice I worked in we had reason to block access to a member of staff's partner's recordsafter she was discovered looking through them. We gave a verbal warning about confidentiality and brought in a policy that all staff family member records were blocked. Giving a reminder is fair enough but if confidentiality was breached at any time it is the Practice themselves that get a bad name - better to cover your back!
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26-02-2007, 01:35 PM   #7
nanadi

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Default Re: staff access to their own and family records

we block access to all records of members of staff and his/her family. This is a confidentiality matter and should be taken seriously. When I first restricted access to these records those members of staff who are also patients couldn't see the need but since that time there have been at least two occasions (different patient each time) when patient did not want details to be readily available to all and sundry. The practice manager who is often the caldicott guardian has to make decisions for the practice whether or not the doctors think it necessary.
Di Thompson
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19-03-2007, 04:12 PM   #8
docarhamilton

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Default Re: staff access to their own and family records

I have a major (potential) problem here, since, as a small island Practice in Shetland all the staff and their immediate families are patients of the Practice.
All the staff have responsibilities for downloading results and for filing results and letters, so it's almost impossible for them to avoid occasionally coming across something related to themselves, each other or their families.
I've actually scheduled a discussion of this point for the next Practice meeting to see if any of them can come up with suggestions about how we go about restricting access.
The suggestion about writing to family members is really good, and one I hadn't thought about. It does at least allow them to think about the issue and make them aware that 100% confidentiality may be difficult to achieve. I've certainly heard (via my daughter, who hears these things) that the son of one of my staff wasn't keen to come here for an STI check in case mum got to hear about it!
Incidentally, my own family are all registered with the Practice on the next island, though I might be called on to treat any of them in an emergency, out of hours when the ferries aren't running.
Any other ideas anyone??
Andrew.
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19-03-2007, 05:33 PM   #9
gary

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Default Re: staff access to their own and family records

you need to investigate your IT systems security profiles. In Emis PCS you can make up security profiles and assign staff members to them. For instance you could have a security profile that allowed a receptionist only to view the address book, and have no access to viewing notes. it depends upon what job a staff member is doing. In many cases there is no need for any member of staff to have access to all clinical records ( perhaps only someone dealing with qof and claims might need this, practice nurses and of course doctors).

you can also use the " confidentiality policy manager" in EMIS PCS, to set up policies that restrict access. for instance, in a new consultation record I can right click on the mouse and select a confidentiality policy I have established, so as to restrict who can access the record. Its all a bit complicated,- follow the help pages would be my advice in the first instance. But essentially the message is that you can restrict access to whole records or parts of one, to any user.
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Last edited by gary; 19-03-2007 at 05:56 PM.
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21-03-2007, 10:09 AM   #10
docarhamilton

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Default Re: staff access to their own and family records

All these suggestions seem to deal only with computerised records,not with written casenotes, letters, hardcopy results etc. which are still going to be around and may be seen by whoever is set to open the mail or do the results download that day. I don't think it would be possible to design a system that was 100% foolproof to avoid say, a wife seeing husband's results. I feel the suggestion to write to family members, together with a general discussion about confidentiality with particular emphasis on NOT looking in your family's notes is the best I can do.
Andrew.
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