Standards for optical businesses

2.4 Confidentiality is respected

Why is this Standard necessary?

Respecting confidentiality is a fundamental principle of healthcare: a patient trusts their healthcare professional and reasonably expects that information to be kept private and not disclosed to others unnecessarily or unlawfully. This duty also applies to information you hold about your staff. Your role as an optical business is to provide an environment which facilitates the respecting of confidentiality, whilst ensuring that appropriate disclosures can be made where there is a public interest in so doing.

To achieve this, your business:

  1. Provides a system for the maintenance of patient records that is secure and accessible only to those who need to see it. This applies to both paper and electronic records;
  2. Is able to provide privacy for patient care when necessary;
  3. Stores information about staff and recruitment securely and confidentially;
  4. Appropriately updates storage systems (including paper and electronic record storage) to maintain security;
  5. Supports staff in overriding patient confidentiality where it is in the public interest to do so. This should include guidance for staff on how to disclose information to an appropriate authority and document such disclosures.