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Practice dilemma: Scanning records

Your practice manager has begun a project to scan old patient records onto disk for uploading to the practice system. His plan is to contract the project out to a company specialising in this type of work. What are the rules around this? Our legal expert advises.

Ultimately it is the responsibility of the practice to ensure patient confidentiality, so it is important to be perfectly satisfied that any third-party contractors are completely trustworthy and professional.

The onus is on the practice to scrutinise any contract with the company in order to ensure that the work would be done in compliance with all relevant legislation – namely the Data Protection Act – and that patient confidentiality is strictly maintained.

Dr Gail Gilmartin, senior medical adviser at MDDUS (the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland.

Practice dilemma: Scanning records