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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Websites' confidentiality threat

GPs whose practices have set up a website are risking breaching patient confidentiality, a study has revealed.

The research found websites that used online forms to allow patients to transmit their data did not use a secure server or connection ­ in breach of NHS data security guidelines.

The survey, Use of Information Technology in General Practice published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, also found GPs had 'unrealistic notions' of the costs of designing and maintaining websites.

They expected to pay a maximum of £500 to set up a website, only enough to provide a basic site, the authors concluded.

The study found many practices were also failing to use NHS Net to its full

potential.

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