Data safety all a hack?

Have you ever used someone else’s credentials because they were already logged in?
Do you try to cut corners by staying logged in to save time?
Have you ever updated your patients’ notes or written a prescription using someone else’s login?

If you answered yes to even one of the above then you could be exposing yourself and your patients to a breach of confidentiality leading to a complaint from a colleague or patient.

Many doctors, for example in hospital emergency departments, are under increasing pressure to see more patients. In these circumstances, it’s tempting to use other doctors’ credentials (accidentally or otherwise) while updating patient notes.

The consequence of leaving logged on devices unattended could be dangerous. Your logon is your responsibility. Records can be manipulated or deleted, unauthorised prescriptions written or information accessed by those not entitled to access it at all. While it’s obvious none of these are fantastic outcomes, use of your logon means the digital trail points squarely to you.

Tips to help keep you safe

  • Create a strong password of at least 8-12 characters, using a combination of capital letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Change your password every three months.
  • Get in the habit of locking, logging off and shutting down your computer or device whenever it’s out of your sight.
  • Keep screens safe from prying eyes by closing doors and drawing curtains.
  • Avoid the temptation of quick and easy access to an already logged in computer.
The consequences of leaving logged on devices unattended could be dangerous