What we do with your information?
Everyone working for Tallaght University Hospital has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential. This document explains why we ask for your personal information, how that information will be used and how you can see your information.
Why is Information recorded about me?
Your doctor and other health professionals caring for you keep records about the treatment you receive. This may be written down (manual records) or kept on a computer (electronic records). These records may include:
1. Basic details about you, e.g. address and next of kin
2. Contacts we have with you, e.g. appointments
3. Notes and reports about your health and care, e.g. change in medication.
4. Details and records about your treatment e.g. advice given to you.
5. Results of investigations
6. Relevant information from people who care for you and know you well, e.g. other clinicians and your GP.
What is the information used for?
Your records are used to ensure that we provide you with the best possible care. It is important that your health records are accurate and up-to-date as they will help make sure that any staff looking after you are able to provide you with the care that your require. Your records will also aid us with any investigation should you have a problem or concern regarding your treatment.
We may also use your information to improve the services we provide to you through audits and monitoring, to pay the care provider for your treatment, aid health research and help to teach healthcare professionals.
When other organisations are involved in your care we may need to share details about you to enable us to work together for your benefit. Information will only be shared with them if they have genuine need for it and where possible we will ask for your consent on this.
We may share information with organisations that contribute to your health and care. These will include your
- GP surgery
- Clinics that you are attending as a patient
- Other organisations that may carry out diagnostic tests on your behalf at our request, e.g. other laboratories or radiology organisations.
- Clinical networks, e.g. Cancer Care or other hospitals
- Audit organisations e.g. Health Service Executive
Some of your personal information may be used for statistical reporting purposes. Occasionally an independent audit (check) will take place to make sure your information is being recorded and stored accurately and securely. On the rare occasions where it is essential to include personal identifiable information we will ask for your consent before this information is shared.
Can I see my information?
The Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act allow you to find what information is held about you on computer and on certain manual records. If you use our self service touch screens you will see some of the information that we hold about you.
In certain circumstances access to your records may be limited, e.g. if it is felt to be in your best interest or for the protection of others.
If you wish to see a copy of the records that we hold about you then we should write to the Freedom of Information Office, Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin 24. If you wish to make a complaint then you may write to our Patient Advocacy department at the Hospital.
How can I make a complaint about the way my information is managed?
If you wish to make a complaint you may do so by writing to the Patient Advocacy Department or e-mail to PALS@tuh.ie. We endeavour to acknowledge your complaint within five working days and complete the process within 30 working days.
Occasions when your information needs to be disclosed include:
1. When the health and safety of others is at risk
2. When the law requires us to pass information on under special circumstances.
3. When we encounter infectious diseases which may be a public health concern, e.g. meningitis and measles (but not HIV/AIDS).
4. When a formal court order has been issued.
We are required by law to report certain information to appropriate authorities. This is only provided after permission has been given by a qualified health professional. Anyone who receives information from the hospital has a legal duty to keep it confidential. Please advise a staff member involved in your care if there is information you do not wish us to share.
If you would like to know more about how we use your information or for any reason you do not wish to have your information used in any of the ways described, please speak to the health professionals concerned with your care.
Further guidance about data protection can be obtained from the Data Protection Commissioner website at www.dpc.ie