GDPR, Patient Data & Why You Need To Consider Your Data Security

GDPR and The Effect on Data Security


I recently published an article on LinkedIn detailing what GDPR is, and why it will have massive effects on the audiology profession across Europe. The real issue I see is that no one seems to be talking about something that will be enforced from May, and will have a dramatic effect on how we store customer records.

Not Just Digital

When people think about data protection, they think digital. However, the GDPR covers all records that include customer information. That means your Patient record cards, your customer lists, your Patient management systems, pretty much everything.

Big Fines

If you are found to have breached the regulation, it will involve a pretty big fine. A fine big enough to possibly put you out of business. Any breach could also lead to legal action from a consumer which could definitely destroy your business.

Data Security

I will be taking a deeper look at data security over the next few weeks and hope to answer all questions and detail the best way to secure data. For this article, I just wish to get you thinking. For instance, let’s talk about Noah.

Noah can be secured with a password and different levels of access security for different users. I wonder how many of us use a secure password? How many of us actually set up different levels of users when we need to give access to receptionist staff or hearing healthcare assistants?

When we set up backups for Noah, do we make sure they are encrypted and secure? Do we store them securely on-site or off-site? If you use cloud storage for back up of Noah, do you make sure it is a secure storage facility that is compliant with the regulations?

Paper Records

Are your Patient record cards secure? Do you store them securely? Who has access to them and do they need access to them? If you regularly type up and send medical reports, do you make sure that the digital records are kept securely? Do you encrypt medical reports on your machine? If you keep hard copies are they kept securely?

Destroying Old Records

After a Patient has passed away, do you destroy their records? If so, how exactly do you do it? How long should you keep them for? These are all questions we need to consider and I hope to be able to outline the answers as we move forward.




About Geoffrey Cooling

my name is Geoffrey Cooling and I am the author here at Just Audiology Stuff. I have been involved in the Hearing Healthcare Profession for several years now. I initially worked as a Hearing Healthcare Professional for a large national retailer in Ireland. After several years in Practice I was approached to work for a manufacturer, where I was employed for five years. I am now the Co Founder of a business called Audiology Engine. We design websites, undertake content marketing and generally look after everything digital for audiological practices. I am also a contributor to many hearing profession periodicals and websites. I have written two commercially available books, The Little Book of Hearing Aids which is written for hearing aid consumers and Audiology Marketing in a Digital World which is written for Audiology Practice Owners. They are both available in Paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon. I also write for consumers on the website Hearing Aid Know, which is a website with the mission of demystifying hearing aids, their types and their technology. I have a great interest in commercial strategy as it applies to Healthcare in general and specifically to Hearing Healthcare. I also have a great interest in the psychology of sales and human interaction. I have been involved with social media for some time, both personally and professionally. I find the engagement and discourse on some social media channels fascinating. I instituted social media strategy for the company I worked for as an experiment. That experiment soon spread throughout the company and I am proud to say that the company is probably one of the most active in the industry. I would like to point out that all views, opinions and thoughts here are mine own. Unless of course they have been planted by the pod people, you just can’t take your eyes off the pod people. Those views do not necessarily reflect upon any views or opinions held by my employer, if I ever get another one. I think that our industry is in the middle of a time of huge change, I think that the change will be forced by both internal and external pressure. I think that private Independent Healthcare Practices will have to be smart and lithe of feet in order to meet these changes. I hope that some of my blatherings are of benefit to those Practices, Independent Hearing Healthcare Practices need to survive. I believe that if that occurs it will be of real benefit to Patients. I hope that I, and my writings will play a small part in their continued success.

Let me know what you think