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Confidentiality is a professional requirement imposed on us by the General Dental Council (GDC). The relationship between dentist and patient is based on the understanding that any information revealed by the patient will not be divulged without the patient’s consent. Only in exceptional circumstances ( e.g. where a major crime is being investigated, or to comply with specific laws such as Road Traffic Acts or terrorism) are we allowed to divulge any information about patients without their specific consent.
Under the Freedom of Information Act 2002, we have a “publication scheme” where we are obliged to supply to any interested party any information we may hold on them. Under the Data Protection Acts 1984 and 1998 we are obliged to safeguard the holding of personal data of our patients.
This practice has adopted the following three principles of confidentiality:
- Personal information about a patient is confidential to those providing healthcare.
- It should only be provided to those who would be unable to provide effective care without that information (Need-to-know)
- Information should not be disclosed to third parties without consent of the patient except in the circumstances set out in the first paragraph.
What this means to you:
- Records should be kept secure and in a location that prevents other individuals from reading them.
- When talking to a patient on the telephone or in a public area care should be taken to ensure that sensitive information is not overheard by other patients.
- Details of names, addresses, telephone numbers, attendance or financial record, treatment histories or plans, medical history or information about other family members should not be divulged.
- Messages regarding patient care should not be left on answer machines. A message to call the practice is all that can be left.
- Disclosure of appointment book information should not be made to third parties without first referring to Alexander Teckkam.
- Discussions being conducted within hearing of any patient should be on strictly professional matters, never discussing a patient by name.
- Conversations on non-professional matters should be reserved for the staff room.
- Any member of staff who breaks these rules will be liable for summary dismissal.
All data processed at this practice must remain confidential even if your employment has terminated. (it is an offence under the Data Protection Act 1998 to disclose such information)
We shall collect, hold and process personal data in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998. These provisions apply to personal data held on an employee’s personal file or on any associated or computerised record.
- Key Principles
Where data is held under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998, we will ensure that personal data is:
- Fairly and lawfully processed;
- Processed for specified purposes;
- Adequate, relevant and not excessive;
- Not kept for longer than is necessary;
- Processed in accordance with individuals rights;
- Not transferred to countries without adequate protection.
- Your Rights
- Where consent is required, we will obtain your consent before processing data that relates to you.
- You are entitled, upon request, to be informed whether personal data about you is being processed, and to be provided with a description of the data, any information available as to its source (if known), the purposes for which it is being processed, and details of the recipients to whom it is being disclosed. We will provide this information upon request although we reserve the right to make a charge for providing this information. In certain circumstances and upon request, we will stop processing personal data about you if it is likely to cause substantial damage or distress to you or someone else. Any requests relating to the above should be made in writing to our Data Protection Officer Alexander Teckkam.
- We will endeavour not to make any decisions that significantly affect you which are based solely on automatic processing of personal data. However, where such a decision is made, you will be informed of the way in which the decision was made and be given an opportunity to make representations to challenge the decision. In such circumstances, we will consider your representations and review the decision with a view to ensuring that a correct and fair decision is made.
- You are required to make yourself familiar with and follow our Data Protection Policy and Code of Practice, which sets out the way in which we require personal data to be treated in order to comply with the law.
- Personal data is confidential and is held solely for the purpose of carrying out company business. Breach of our Data Protection Policy or Code of Practice may amount to misconduct and result in disciplinary action. Persistent breaches or a serious breach may result in your dismissal.
We will ensure that appropriate measures are adopted to guard against unauthorised and unlawful processing, or the accidental loss, destruction of or damage to data.
The subject of data protection is a complicated one. If you require guidance or assistance you should contact our Data Protection Officer who will be pleased to help you and answer any queries that you may have.
This applies to all employees who create or contribute to social media, including but not limited to social networks, blogs, wikis and online forums.
It is important to remember what you do online is ultimately linked to your personal life, your professional reputation, and the reputation of Teckkam Dental Care Ltd.
Below are Teckkam Dental Care Ltd guidelines for personal and business use of social media.
- Teckkam Dental Care Ltd respects an employee’s right to participate in social media for personal reasons during non-work hours.
- All employees are expected to be professional when participating in social media and online commentary.
- Any content posted on online forums, should comply with our practice’s confidentiality protocols, Data Protection Acts and GDC guidelines. Do not refer or discuss patients on any online forum, even if a patient is not mentioned by name, they may still be identified through the nature of the discussion.
- Any work-related comments should be meaningful, respectful and relevant in a way that protects the practice’s image and reputation and reflects positively on colleagues.
- Your actions captured via images, posts or comments may be considered by some as a reflection on our practice, regardless of whether or not it occurs during work hours.
- Ask your colleagues permission to post any images of them taken on social events.
- To avoid any potential conflicts of interest, employees of Teckkam Dental Care Ltd are not to accept any patients as ‘friends’ or ‘followers’ on their social networking sites. Employees are to direct and encourage patients to join the practice’s social networking sites instead.
We will monitor our social media sites regularly to ensure that we engage with our audience and to monitor content.
- Be accurate (where they state facts).
- Be genuinely held (where they state opinions).
- Comply with applicable law in the United Kingdom and any country from which it is posted.
- Conform to the GDC’s guidance and that of the Advertising Standards Authority; they must be legal, decent, honest and truthful.
- Reflect a caring and competent approach.
- Comply with the terms, conditions and policies belonging to specific social networks and respect copyright laws and reference or cite sources appropriately.
- Comply with our practice’s confidentiality protocols, Data Protection Acts and GDC guidelines.
Contributions Must NOT be:
- Regarded as misleading or unsubstantiated.
- Be defamatory, unlawful, obscene, offensive, hateful, abusive or inflammatory.
- Discriminate for any reason, such as race, sex or religion; be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, or alarm any other person.
- Contain an instruction, advice, or content that could cause harm or injury to individuals or to computers or systems.
- Give the impression that the contribution has been posted by Teckkam Dental Care Ltd if this is not the case.
- Encourage anyone to commit any unlawful or criminal act or condone any unlawful or criminal act.
- Contain any advertising.
We reserve the right to remove or to disable access to any contribution which we deem to be in breach of our content standards.
- Always gain consent from patients before posting their testimonial, photograph, video or mentioning them on our social network sites.
- If a patient posts negative feedback regarding our practice this needs to be dealt with quickly showing a caring and responsible approach. Notify Alexander Teckkam or Helen Paton immediately.
- If a patient posts a complaint follow our complaint handling procedures, notifying Alexander Teckkam or Helen Paton immediately.
- If you disagree with another’s opinion or the situation is becoming antagonistic or controversial (for example political, religious debates), politely disengage from the dialogue and talk with Alexander Teckkam or Helen Paton immediately.
When we consider that a breach of our social media policy has occurred, we may take any action we deem appropriate including disciplinary proceedings.
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