This page is designed to answer the following questions:
- 14.1b Explain why it is important to have secure systems for recording, storing and sharing information (Care Certificate, Standard 14: Handling information)
- 1.2 Explain why it is important to have secure systems for recording and storing information in a care setting (Level 2 Diploma in Care, Handle information in care settings)
Using secure systems for the recording, storing and sharing of information is essential in health and social care setting.
Much of the information that we use on a daily basis is deeply personal and confidential to the individuals that we support and we have a duty to respect and protect their privacy and dignity.
This can include personal data such as their name, address, photographs etc. that could potentially be used for identity fraud as well as information in their care plans such as personal care, which could cause embarrassment or upset if others found out about it.
As well as having and ethical and moral duty to ensure the systems that we use to store information are secure, we also have a legal obligation.
Legislation such as the Data Protection Act govern how organisations collect, use and store information and action may be taken if there are breaches in confidential information.
In addition, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will look at a care provider’s information systems and if it is deemed to be lacking, it will affect the rating given on inspection.
Example question and answer
Explain two ways of helping other practitioners to understand the importance of handling information securely.
The importance of handling information securely can be conveyed to others by explaining the consequences of not protecting the personal data of others. This can include consequences to the individual such as social exclusion or fraud as well as consequences to the professional including disciplinary action, dismissal and legal action.
Another method would be to ask them how they would feel if their own personal information was passed onto others without their consent.