Privacy preferences tool developed for health care

There are complex data protection requirements in a health care setting where patients’ privacy and health care professionals’ access to data may pose conflicting demands. By Laura Linkomies.

An ICO-funded research project at Teesside University looked at data protection issues with Health Care Professionals’ (HCPs) and Social Workers’ access to records held in GP and social-care systems, authorisation models, and setting privacy preferences.

These considerations are topical as the government is looking to improve regional collaboration across health, care and local authorities to develop shared health and care records(1). The researchers suggest an approach to support arriving at a compromise, through facilitating alerts and overrides for key HCPs.

Patient privacy preferences

With the help of technology, patients could set their privacy preferences online or in a more traditional setting during a consultation with an information specialist/HCP who enters their preferences into the system. The same dashboard would be used by a specialist and by the patient.

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