How Smarmore Castle Private Clinic protects personal health information

What is personal health information?

  • It is information which identifies you. This will include your name and address, date of birth, information about your care and treatment as well as your medical history.
  • Doctors, nurses, and therapists need to make notes on paper or computer systems in order to manage your treatment while you are in Smarmore Castle Private Clinic. These form part of your medical record and will contain personal health information.
Where possible, information will be used in such a way that you cannot be identified.

How and where is my personal health information kept?

  • The patient care record can be paper based, electronic, or both.
  • Your patient care record is stored securely within the clinic in a locked room accessed through another locked room, or securely in electronic format. Only authorised personnel with a need to see them are permitted access.

How is my personal information used?

  • Smarmore Castle Private Clinic uses your information to give you the care and treatment that you need. It will share relevant information with all treatment staff involved in your care.
  • Information will be shared with your General Practitioner who referred you to hospital.
  • Information about you may be shared with other agencies e.g. social workers, but only with your informed consent and only for the purposes of your ongoing treatment. Where possible, information will be used in such a way that you cannot be identified. You have the right to opt out of such non-essential uses of your information if you so wish. 

How does Smarmore Castle Private Clinic keep my personal health information confidential?

  • Your personal information is safeguarded by data protection.
  • All staff have a professional duty to keep information about you strictly confidential.
  • Only relevant information is shared within the multi-disciplinary team or with other healthcare professionals, such as your General Practitioner, who are responsible for your ongoing care.
  • The Clinic will not share your personal health information with relatives or friends without your permission.

Mandatory Disclosures

  • In exceptional circumstances the law requires hospitals and clinics to share personal information without your permission, e.g. in matters of police investigation or child protection.
  • In the case of certain notifiable diseases such as meningitis the clinic has an obligation to report this to the Public Health Authorities.

 Other Uses of Personal Health Information

  • To develop the clinic’s services.
  • For statistical analysis.
  • To train and educate staff.

Access to your medical records

  • You have a right of access to your own personal data as defined in the Data Protection Act (1988), which with some exceptions entitles individuals to a copy of information held about them. There is normally a charge for this.
  • If you consider that any part of the information held on your record is inaccurate, you may apply to have this corrected. If upon examining the record the hospital finds that it is inaccurate it will be corrected. Where the hospital upon examining the record considers the record to be accurate it will not be changed but a note of your objection placed in your records.

Your right to complain

  • If you are not happy about how your health information has been used or protected, firstly talk to a relevant member of staff and express your concerns. If you are still not happy you may make a formal complaint through the hospital’s complaints procedure.

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