Legal Responsibilities Warning for Dental Practice Websites
I am writing to inform you urgently of the new GDC Professional Standards Guidelines that will be issued by the General Dental Council within the next 6 months.
These will include reference to the Regulations concerning the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in general dental practice together with the need to ensure all aspects of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulations are fulfilled.
Dental practices with website hyperlink communications to the Internet (e-mail, patient referral forms, new patient registration forms, appointment booking, Contact Us etc.) are at particular risk of breaching the DPA and CQC Outcome 21 (Regulation 20) concerning the secure transfer of Personal Identifiable Information (PII). The New NHS Dental Contracts will all impose a mandatory online compliance requirement with the implementation of the regulations set out in the NHS Information Governance Toolkit (IGT).
Dental Focus Customer Service Plan (CSP) Members
Dental Focus clients can have peace of mind. We will be carrying out changes to your website within the next month to improve basic website compliance with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) and the CQC. We cannot however be responsible for ensuring your website is fully compliant with all of the GDC, ICO and CQC Regulations as these are the responsibility of the Practice Principal who has commissioned the publication of your practice website.
To help me with this problem, I have sought the professional advice and service of Dr Nigel Knott BDS LDS (CEO Dentsure Ltd) who is an experienced consultant in this complex field of ICT regulation.
Dentsure has launched the new Valident service, a fully encrypted e-communications service especially for the use of dental practices in order that they can communicate with their patients and professional colleagues within a securely padlocked online environment. The new Valident services not only ensure that your practice website can be certificated to be compliant with all of the latest Data Protection Act legislation but it also brings the additional benefit of your website being brought up to date with the new online GDC Professional Guidelines being announced in June. Nigel has published a number of articles recently in the Dental Press on the subject of dental practice website compliance and the legal professional responsibilities associated with communicating online with patients and professional colleagues within a confidential environment.
My relationship with Dentsure enables Dental Focus to have access to the very latest information and advice on dental practice website compliance where GDC/ICO/CQC online regulations are concerned. During the next three months I would like all of our customers to be made aware of the new Valident services in order that we can help you to implement the regulatory compliance that needs to be in place before next September 2013. We will be the first Internet Company and Website Service Provider to do so in Dentistry.
Nigel and I will be in touch shortly to guide you step-by-step on the right actions to take. However, if you have any immediate questions, please get in touch.
Krishan Joshi aka The Master
Internet Marketing Director, Dental Focus Web Design