Understanding confidentiality and patient notes

This article explains how Bp Premier applies confidentiality to individual notes and an entire record, and how confidentiality is preserved when importing and exporting patient data.

What can be marked confidential?

Bp Premier can provide confidential access to patient records at several levels:

  • Individual notes in a record
  • Individual documents and images in a record
  • The entire patient record
  • All of a provider's patients.

Patient notes and documents marked 'confidential' will only be visible to the provider marked as Usual provider in the patient's record.

Confidentiality is also preserved when patient data is uploaded to My Health Record. Notes and documents marked confidential can only be viewed by the patient’s usual provider in Bp Premier's My Health Record views.

When a user tries to view, print, delete, or export patient material marked as confidential, Bp Premier will warn that the material has been marked as confidential and by whom, and prompt for the emergency password.

How do I access confidential data in an emergency?

Bp Premier provides an emergency access password. Best Practice Software recommend that you:

  • Set the emergency password when you install Bp Premier
  • Provide the emergency password to key senior staff only, such as the practice manager and the principal doctor
  • Store the emergency password in a secure location, such as a practice safe
  • Change the emergency password at regular intervals to maintain security.

Important: The emergency password provides 'all or none' access to all confidential patient material. Best Practice Software recommend changing the password regularly.

Subpoena tool

If you need to export a patient record, or sections of a patient record, for legal purposes, Bp Premier also offers a Subpoena tool that exports specified components of a patient record to print, XML, or HTML. Access to this tool is controlled by user permission. See Subpoena Tool for more information.

Export and import confidential patient data

When importing and exporting patient data, you can include or exclude material marked confidential. However, even if you are the patient’s usual provider, you will need to supply the emergency access code if you are exporting confidential material.

Confidentiality is preserved when importing patient records with confidential material. If you import patient records in XML from another Bp Premier site, providers other than the patient’s original usual provider will not be able to view imported material that is marked confidential. To enable access to confidential material, you could:

  • Have the patient’s usual provider unmark material marked confidential before you export the patient record.
  • Use the emergency access code at the new practice to unmark imported material marked confidential.

The patient’s new usual provider can remark patient notes as confidential.

Important: Exported patient records that include confidential material are readable in a web browser or word processor. Exported patient records should be treated according to your practice’s guidelines for handling sensitive patient information.

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