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Friday 25th May 2018

GPs putting confidentiality at risk

23rd June 2010

A survey carried out by Pulse has revealed that many GPs are using emails in order to communicate with their patients but are not applying appropriate security procedures.


According to the survey of over 500 doctors, almost one fifth (18%) said they had emailed patients in order to provide a consultation.

More than three-quarters of the GPs (77%) had done this by using a secure health service email address. However half of the GPs said they had sent the information to a patient's personal email address, risking a security breach.

12% of GPs reported that they used encryption software to disguise a patient's identification details and only 8% said they made use of their practice's security measures while sending the email.

99% of GPs did not make use of the Connecting for Health Communicator functionality.

Dr David Lloyd, medical director of out-of-hours IT at Connecting for Health and a GP in Harrow, Middlesex, stated that enhancements to the Communicator system would be trialled in a pilot in late 2010 in order to get more doctors to use it and to make it "quicker and simpler".

"I’m gratified to hear 78% [of GPs] use an NHS email address - that shows GPs are aware of security issues," he added.


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Article Information

Title: GPs putting confidentiality at risk
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 15251
Date Added: 23rd Jun 2010



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