The Importance of Secure Systems for Recording, Storing and Sharing Information

It is important to have secure systems for recording, sharing and storing information for the following reasons:

  • These are legal requirements under the data protection act
  • Legal requirements are reinforced by inspection and organisational standards of behaviour and practice which staff must follow.
  • Records can be used to abuse a person if they fall into the wrong hands, every effort needs to be made to prevent this from happening
  • Individuals’ data needs to be kept secure so that third parties who have no right to know about it do not have access to it either by gaining access to it deliberately or accidentally (e.g. a service user who overhears a conversation two staff have about another service user’s personal life is gaining access to their data illegally even though it might be accidental)
  • Data about individuals is personal and confidential to the person and the person has the right to expect that it will be handled safely and securely
  • The law says only relevant data should be stored on individuals, this makes it likely that anything recorded is, therefore, sensitive information
  • Individuals have their right (both legally and morally) to decide what information about themselves is shared, how it is shared and with whom
  • Health and care workers and professionals have a duty towards those they support with regards to the standards they should meet
  • Frivolous attitudes towards confidentiality are a lack of respect and thus not in line with being caring, compassionate, competent, or committed to service users. It is likely to result in the infringement of people’s dignity.

Security is not just about keeping personal data in a locked cabinet or password protected it is about knowing that it must not be passed on and shared to third parties who may make an unauthorised or non-need to know request to access it. Sometimes what appears to be innocent gossip may result in a breach of confidentiality. When holding a conversation which includes personal information it is particularly important to make sure that no one can overhear it.

Use to answer question 14.1b of the Care Certificate

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