Confidentiality Policy

Water Row Dental Practice recognises that ALL members of the team have an ethical and legal duty to keep patient information confidential. The relationship this practice has with each patient is based on trust that information will not be given to external persons or organisations.

All members of the team are expected to comply with this policy and are advised to be aware of confidentiality clause within their staff contract. Breaches of this policy could lead to dismissal.

This means;

  • Using information only for the purposes for which it was given.
  • Preventing information from being accidentally revealed.
  • Preventing unauthorised access by keeping information secure at all times. After any forms have been filled in and inserted onto the computer they are shredded. They are not kept within the practice in paper form.

Only in exceptional circumstances can a breach of confidentiality be justified.

Preventing Breaches;

We keep all confidential data stored securely and will not allow it to be placed in areas where data may be seen by unauthorised personnel.

We will NOT provide information;

  • To a school about a child’s attendance.
  • To employers about a patient’s appointments.
  • To third parties about appointments or leave answering machine messages.
  • Only leave messages to return the call.

Recall cards and other personal information will be sent to the patient in a sealed envelope.

Disclosure Policy

Water Row Dental Practice policy for disclosure of any information.

If it is necessary to release information about a patient;

  • We will obtain the patients consent first, where possible and make sure they understand what information is being released, why and any likely consequences.
  • We will release the minimum information required.
  • We will be prepared to justify our decisions and follow on action.

If we use patient information ie radiographs study models etc for teaching purposes we will gain the patients consent and ensure the patient cannot be identified from the information.

Exceptional circumstances;

Responsibility for disclosure rests solely with the patient’s dentist ONLY. Under NO circumstances will any other member of staff make such a decision. There may be some circumstances when the dentist feels it is in the public’s interest to breach a patient’s confidentiality. In such cases we will seek advice from our indemnifier before
releasing information to a third party.

A court may order us to release information without the patients consent. If so, we will only release the minimum information.

Access to patients records;

Patients have the right to access their records and we will meet every request, free of charge as quickly as possible and within 30 days. A request from a patient to see or get a copy of must be referred to the patient’s dentist and in writing.

The patient will then be given an opportunity of coming into the practice to discuss the records and will be given a photocopy.

More information;

For more information on this topic, speak to Russell Smith or Sharon Smith.

Useful organisations;