FairWarning the inventor and global leader in patient privacy monitoring, has welcomed the publication of the Caldicott report.
LONDON, UK – 14 May 2013 – FairWarning®, the inventor and global leader in patient privacy monitoring, has welcomed the publication of the Caldicott report. They have hailed it as a ‘decisive step forward for patient privacy’.
The recommendation to ‘notify patients when their records have been breached’ is a key element of patient privacy rights and represents a turning point for UK healthcare. The recommendation to enable patient to review access to their records would make the UK the first nation in the world to mandate this requirement and is a remarkable step towards transparent healthcare.
FairWarning® believes that the Caldicott recommendations, which lay the foundation for secure and trusted electronic healthcare, will lead to better care through privacy and respect for the patient.
Privacy is the foundation of electronic healthcare. The widespread use and continued growth of electronic healthcare systems, coupled with the free flow of information are essential for the sustainable delivery of better outcomes for patients. This can only be successful if clinicians and patients have confidence that sensitive data is secure.
FairWarning® also welcomed the fact that audit controls and access reporting were identified as top priorities. These were recommendations the company presented to the Caldicott review panel. Auditing and monitoring access to patient records is absolutely vital to enhance the reputation of healthcare providers in a market that is becoming more competitive, and to gain the trust of patients.
Tim Dunn, General Manager of FairWarning® UK, commented “The report strikes a right balance between sharing information to improve patient outcomes, and putting in place the right measures to ensure that patients’ privacy is not compromised. Although this represents a monumental milestone in the journey of the NHS, we now need to see those recommendations implemented and in some areas we would call for further action.”
FairWarning® has identified key areas that need to be addressed:
The introduction of robust standards for audit trails:
The implementation of robust standards for audit trails will be a key component in the delivery of an electronic healthcare model built on the principle of interoperable systems and widespread sharing of data. Interoperability increases the risk of security breaches and, as such, underlines the need for common and robust standards for audit trails to underpin all healthcare applications.
Reinforcing a culture of privacy in the NHS
There is an urgent requirement for educating staff who handle personal health information. Caldicott Guardians, as well as all involved in risk governance, will have to play a more active role than ever before in building trust with patients to ensuring that they share information confidentially with their healthcare providers in order to receive the best care possible.
Multiple government organisations will have to co-operate to bring a balanced sense of seriousness and enforcement to the market. The Information Commissioner Office must conduct ongoing audits of healthcare providers to ensure that they are compliant. NHS trusts which are systemically neglectful of patient privacy must be fined accordingly.
Urgent implementation of the recommendations
FairWarning® supports totally the determination of Dame Fiona to see her recommendations executed. Crucial to success will be in the enforcement of recommendation 26. This places the responsibility on the Secretary of State for Health to maintain oversight of the recommendations and provide an assessment of their implementation within the first 12 months.
Dunn concluded, “Although much still needs to be done to ensure that electronic healthcare becomes a reality, we are very optimistic about the future as we know from our experience in the UK and the rest of the world that this can be achieved. We look forward to supporting other healthcare providers in the UK implement electronic health systems that will allow them to flourish in the new NHS landscape.”
The independent Information Governance Review led by Dame Fiona Caldicott, entitled ‘Information: to share or not to share?’ and also known as Caldicott2, was set up in February 2012 and delivered its final report and recommendations in April 2013. The aim of the review was to advise on how to achieve a better balance between protecting and sharing confidential personal information. The review produced a set of 7 revised “Caldicott Principles” and 26 specific recommendations. Dame Fiona will now chair an independent panel to oversee and scrutinise implementation of the review’s recommendations and to provide advice on information governance issues.
FairWarning® invented and is the global leader in patient privacy monitoring solutions which guard against abuse of patient information in Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and Health Information Exchanges (HIEs), enabling care providers to confidently connect physicians, clinics, patients and affiliates. FairWarning®’s patient privacy monitoring solutions are compatible with healthcare applications from every major vendor, and available as either on-premise or software-as-a-service with managed services available to complement existing resources. Customers consider FairWarning® solutions essential for compliance with healthcare privacy regulations such as ARRA HITECH privacy and meaningful use criteria, HIPAA, EU Data Protection, UK Freedom of Information Act, California SB 541 and AB 211, Texas HB 300, Massachusetts 201 CMR 17.00 and Canadian provincial healthcare privacy law. For more information on FairWarning®, please visit www.fairwarning.com, email Solutions@FairWarning.com or call 0800 047 0933 or US +1 727 576 6700.