Compulsory NHS audits and protecting patient data

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HealthITYesterday, SC Magazine reported on promises by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to crack down on how NHS trusts handle patient data.  This follows plans outlined by Justice Minister Simon Hughes to grant the ICO the power to carry out “compulsory audits” on the NHS around the handling of confidential patient data.

Many of you will have read the recent headlines accusing NHS partners of data breaches.  Organisations including PA Consulting and Earthwear were heavily criticised, though both parties claim they respected both the law and people’s privacy, plus the data couldn’t be linked to any individuals. Yet this has, not surprisingly, unnerved the British public.  No-one wants to consider that their confidential and personal data is at any level of risk, not even a slight one.

The problem with news such as this is that it is can tar all parts of an organisation or its network with the same media brush.

We work closely with a number of NHS trusts and partners and have a deep understanding of the importance of security and privacy.  Specifically, we’ve worked closely with NHS Wales to address security challenges associated with the transfer of highly sensitive data. NHS Wales needed to ensure the security and control of high volumes of confidential and sensitive data whilst upholding ICO standards, internal practices and external regulations.  With MOVEit Managed File Transfer solution, NHS Wales Trust has remained fully-compliant with internal practices and industry regulations and has complete visibility of documents and data coming in and out of the business.  This allows the organisation to greatly reduce the time to securely share sensitive information, resulting in improving overall care and providing invaluable peace of mind to staff and patients alike.

While reported breaches highlight the need for businesses to sit up and pay attention to the visibility, control and sharing of confidential data, it’s also important to recognise the diligence and commitment to personal privacy and data security that many organisations already have in place.

You can read more about how we’ve helped NHS Wales to secure patient data here.  Alternatively, feel free to share your thoughts with us on Twitter.

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