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  • NHS Digital announces patient de-identification software partnership

    NHS Digital announces patient de-identification software partnership

    Thursday, 05 July 2018 16:48
  • Over half of acute trusts are now using GP e-Referral Service

    Over half of acute trusts are now using GP e-Referral Service

    Thursday, 14 June 2018 14:29
  • NEWS app for sepsis scoring available

    NEWS app for sepsis scoring available

    Monday, 04 June 2018 09:58
  • NHS launches National Data Opt-Out facility

    NHS launches National Data Opt-Out facility

    Thursday, 31 May 2018 09:01
  • ePACT to be decommissioned on June 8 as ePACT2 takes over

    ePACT to be decommissioned on June 8 as ePACT2 takes over

    Tuesday, 29 May 2018 12:48

a computer imageJanuary 23 2018

Healthcare providers wanting to use cloud computing or off-shore storage for data, including patient information, are being asked to adopt new national guidance.


NHS Digital has published the guidance ahead of the implementation in May of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which tightens restrictions on the processing and transfer of personal data. The new guidance relates both to NHS and social care providers.  

It states that cloud computing services are permitted for NHS data, but this must only be hosted within the UK, the European Economic Area (EEA), a country deemed adequate by the European Commission, or in the US where covered by Privacy Shield.

“Senior Information Risk Owners (SIROs) locally should be satisfied about appropriate security arrangements (using National cyber security essentials as a guide) in conjunction with Data Protection Officers and Caldicott Guardians,” it adds.

The document also highlights potential benefits for organisations which use cloud facilities. “These include cost savings associated with not having to buy and maintain hardware and software, and comprehensive back-up and fast recovery of systems. Together these features cut the risk of health information not being available due to local hardware failure.”

There is also a “more detailed explanation to help organisations comply with expected standards when choosing to adopt these technologies. It sets out the legalities and best practice as to how data should be stored and used.”

Rob Shaw, Deputy Chief Executive at NHS Digital, commented: “It is for individual organisations to decide if they wish to use cloud and data offshoring but there are a huge range of benefits in doing so, such as greater data security protection and reduced running costs when implemented effectively.

“The guidance being published today will give greater clarity about how these technologies can be used and how data, including confidential patient information, can be securely managed.”

Links:
NHS Digital announcement       
NHS Digital ‘NHS and social care data: off-shoring and the use of public cloud services’  

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