Clinicians are heavily reliant upon having access to accurate and up to data information in order to make effective clinical decisions, and corporate staff are reliant on the same to plan and manage sustainable services.
Lax security controls can lead to reduced data integrity, and ultimately to a lack of availability of important information, at what may be a critical point in a patient’s care pathway or organisational management process.
The absence of robust data quality policies and procedures can lead to patient harm and in the worst case scenarios fatalities. Moreover, poor data quality can result in the loss of significant income as a result of Commissioner payment by results challenges.
Information Governance is not therefore, just about preventing security and confidentiality breaches by restricting access to information. It is about ensuring staff keep accurate, up to date records and empowering staff to share information with the right people at the right time, in order to affect excellent care delivery (which the organisation gets paid for without challenge).
Clear and concise information governance training and guidance materials enable staff to understand and discharge their responsibilities with regards to data handling confidently, thereby potentially reducing significantly associated information and clinical risks.
For Health & Social care organisations the consequences can be even more dire. Consider the impact that inaccurate data can have on patient care. Poor data quality can lead to patients having had the wrong organs transplanted, the wrong limbs removed, the wrong dosage/type of drug prescribed. It can also result in organisations loosing millions of pounds to payment by results challenges, since healthcare commissioners use data quality indicators to determine the amount of money that healthcare providers are entitled to be paid.
IG Smart helps organisations of all shapes and sizes to navigate their way through the myriad of data protection laws in order to enable better staff awareness, and ensure organisational compliance through effective Data Protection Training.
We have managed data breach incidents in enough Hospitals, Local Authorities, and businesses to know what risks and signs to look out for in order to help organisations proactively embed pragmatic and proportionate controls to help prevent breaches.
We have learned over the years that the vast majority of data breaches can be relatively easily prevented through adequate staff training, clear and concise policy and the effective implementation of physical and technical information security controls.