Better protection for patient records

Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has implemented a patient privacy monitoring system to further ensure that patient information is protected and secure.

The new patient privacy system called FairWarning will identify any patterns of breaches of inappropriate and illegitimate access to a patient’s health record and will alert managers. It is one of the benefits of the Trust’s introduction of electronic patient records (EPR) and it gives patients the extra confidence that, subject to their consent, only people involved in their care can access their records.

Yvonne Salkeld, Head of Information Governance said “This software is a giant leap forward and allows us to give more assurance to patients and to staff that this organisation takes confidentiality seriously. As we move towards a paper light organisation FairWarning will allow us to continue protecting patient’s data at the highest degree. Our patient’s information is safe in our hands.”

In the past manual auditing of access could take weeks. The new system automates this process and flags any suspicious activity immediately– allowing Trust staff more time to work more efficiently and effectively on enhancing our information governance controls.

Staff will feel secure knowing that inappropriate access is monitored and that there is good evidence to show who has accessed patient records.

This system will increase the confidence of patients, clinicians, staff and our health partners (such as GPs) in the approach to patient information privacy. By running a few simple queries the Trust can join information together to present a report to managers and staff of instances where access to patient information may be inappropriate.

Dr Andrew Brittlebank, the Trust’s Caldicott Guardian added “Patients and their families trust us to look after lots of personal information about themselves in their clinical records. I’m proud that we have an excellent track record of keeping information that should be confidential safe and secure. As we move into an age when clinical records will be kept electronically, I want to reassure everyone that we will have systems that will properly protect their confidentiality”