Patient records are strictly governed by two very important Laws which are Data Protection Act and Human Rights Act. These laws apply directly so that these records are kept strictly confidential and they may be accessed only by the health care professionals treating a patient, that too with prior consent of the patient. No record can be made public. As per the Data Protection Act, the NHS and other organizations ensure that any personal information collected while maintaining or updating these records is used solely for the purpose to gather information; which would ensure quality service is provided to the patient and that such information is kept strictly private and confidential. Any breach of the Data Protection Act is considered a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment. Similarly, The Human Rights Act also calls for having every individual’s privacy to be respected, which includes the right of the patients to keep their health records secure. This includes delegating proper roles and responsibility for data quality, making sure that activities are properly coordinated with the help of tasking or creating the right channels, maintaining proper communications with the specialists involved in support, combining activity and "Information Governance", making sure that information systems are kept up to date and ensuring that all those involved in data entering and monitoring are fully aware of their job responsibilities when it comes to maintaining the records accurately. NHS has a strict “Information Governance” Policy, which has laid out stringent and uncompromising policy protocols to maintain the privacy as well as the quality of data. The Principles of Data Quality are set forth to ensure that all possible measures will be undertaken to ensure proper accessibility of the data and that the records are maintained up to date.Moreover, it ensures that the systems and processes related to recording, storing as well as accessing the records will be developed and maintained to make sure that the quality of data is not compromised and is in compliance with the regulations mandated by NHS.
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Information Governance Taskforce. “Priority Issues in Information Governance.” Consultation Paper CP-01. 2014, February.
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