Everything You Need to Know About GDPR Policies for Medical Transcription Services

Now that the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) policy is roping in, every business in the EU market is going to have the added responsibility. And the responsibility is all going to be about data management. The GDPR has gone into effect from May 25, 2018, and it is aiming to strengthen the personal data of all the individuals falling under EU. Also, when it comes to the GDPR for medical transcription services, it will not be the same. The medical transcription services will have to look into their privacy policy to make changes to it.

It has become a necessity for the data processors to keep memorizing regarding the expectations that GDPR has from them. If any infringement occurs with any data, it will lead to a heavy compensation. With this, the regulator might start off with action as a result of the observation of non-compliance.

GDPR in Medical Transcription

This blog is about what all regulations are the medical transcription services are going to undergo in with GDPR policy. The overall structure of the policy is just to protect the data of the customers. This will give them a sense of security and they can rely on such services.

1. The criteria of consent

Consent is one of the main concerns of the GDPR policy. The GDPR escalates the risk which is related to a consent-based business model by foisting extra necessities with respect to permitted consent. The medical transcription services will now be spending more time on processing the consent and molding the privacy policies. This is because there is a need to offer the language of the consent which is intelligent and to obtain the consent by affirmative means. This will be applicable to those services who have a very stubborn privacy policy and the consent processes are really loose with respect to GDPR.

A consent will be considered as invalid if there is an imbalance between the data subject and the controller. This is a bit difficult for the medical professionals. Because sometimes it is not about agreeing on the same things.  For instance, if a doctor is telling a patient to make use of the application as the hospital uses it to keep an eye on the distant patients. If the patient refuses to use it then technically it becomes an invalid consent. So there is an imbalance and invalidation of the consent even if the patient is ticking all the boxes in the app.

So this is an important aspect that the medical industry will have to look into. There are many other instances where the consent of the patient will be the priority and the industry will have to think about it.

2. Data related to health scope

GDPR interprets ‘health status’ as:

“all data pertaining to the health status of a data subject which reveal information relating to the past, current or future physical or mental health status of the data subject. This includes information about the natural person collected in the course of the registration for, or the provision of, health care services as referred to in Directive 2011/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council to that natural person;”

“A number, symbol or particular assigned to a natural person to uniquely identify the natural person for health purposes; information derived from the testing or examination of a body part or bodily substance, including from genetic data and biological samples; and any information on, for example, a disease, disability, disease risk, medical history, clinical treatment or the physiological or biomedical state of the data subject independent of its source, for example from a physician or other health professional, a hospital, a medical device or an in vitro diagnostic test.”(recital 35)

3. Right to be forgotten

This right has become one of the important factors of GDPR regulation. So in this case, a patient can request the medical services to erase all his or her personal data. This is not only for medical services but all types of companies that fall under EU. If a patient is withdrawing the consent then the medical transcription company must erase all the data. And the process is made easier under the GDPR.

4. Assessment of the impact

The GDPR has a requirement of conducting a Privacy Impact Assessment before processing any kind of data. The data can be personal or related to health or any other stream. If a medical services company has already performed a PIA where they are addressing the new functionalities. They will only perform if the new functionalities are presenting new risks.

The minimum requirements of PIA are:

  • A complete description of the foreseen processing operation along with its purpose.
  • Assessment of the required and consistent processing operations in regard to the purposes.
  • An overall study of the risks involving the data of the individuals.

5. Requirement for profiling

Personal data in healthcare gets relevant with profiling. It is very simple to understand. For instance, let’s see a patient’s journey. The health of the patient develops with time and to note that the profiling has to be done. And it will be done only with monitoring that patient. According to GDPR, monitoring is “any form of automated processing of personal data consisting of the use of personal data to evaluate certain personal aspects relating to a natural person, in particular to analyse or predict aspects concerning that natural person’s performance at work, economic situation, health, personal preferences, interests, reliability, behaviour, location or movements”.

Therefore every medical transcription services company will have to be in sync with all of the profiling requirements.

6. The right of data portability

It is must for the medical transcription services company to tell their customers about the data portability right. In this, a patient as per his or her wish can request the service provider to transfer their data to another provider.

This right is going to make it compulsory to the service providers to make necessary changes in their prevailing system. All the companies must adapt to this system by May 25, 201.

There is no doubt going to be a lot of changes seen in the terms and privacy policy with effect from May 25. Also, it is the responsibility of all the medical transcription services providers to inform their clients about what is GDPR and how it is going to work. You can inform your clients through Facebook or any other social media channel, but informing them is a must. This is because every customer must be aware of the new changes that come into the system.

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