“Public information: GDPR does not inhibit use of data for coronavirus response. GDPR has a clause excepting work in the overwhelming public interest. No one should constrain work on responding to coronavirus due to data protection laws.” Matt Hancock - tweet, 18th March 2020.
This document has instructions for how to register patients at scale with speed to keep them out of hospitals.
There are four options outlined for registration at speed.
Confirming email addresses alongside changes in process to telephone clinics should occur immediately.
1. Email invitations (Immediate)
PKB’s software sends immediate and automatic registration invitations to the email addresses of patients whose addresses the organisation uploads by CSV (see instructions).
- If providers have already collected email addresses in the past from a variety of patient interactions, now is the time to use them.
- You should use the email addresses from the NHS SPINE. Some of these will be wrong - there is no problem with wrong addresses, PKB will either reject non-addresses, or the person receiving the message will fail PKB’s registration security check to gain access to a patient’s record.
- Finally, you should ask local GPs for the EMIS,SystmOne or other primary care system email addresses they have collected. They can extract these at the practice level and forward them to you.
More information on collecting these email addresses can be found here.
To prime the patients, PKB recommends sending an explanatory email before your organisation invites them to PKB. PKB’s communications team can send out this email on behalf of your organisation to let patients know to expect a registration email. PKB has a template that explains to the patient the urgency of completing registration in light of COVID-19. PKB needs your organisation's approval, and a list of patient email addresses, so PKB can send the explanatory email.
Emails can also be manually added to individually patient records both in person and via remote methods. Please see point 2 for how telephone clinics can use this workflow.
2. Telephone clinic registrations
This option assumes you have already created your patient records.
When patients (or relatives/carers) call phone lines their identity can be verified by confirmation of personal details such as date of birth, and when identity is verified an email address can be provided. The email inviting the user to register does require the user to know the date of birth of the patient so errors in the spelling of email addresses will not allow registration and access.
Patients can be invited to claim their record as part of:
- Telephone clinics which are taking the place of their normal face to face appointments. As the patient is already verified at this point, a professional can manually add their email address to their PKB record to send them an invitation as outlined above. Please see step by step instructions here and a video demonstrating how to do this, here (to be provided 20/03/2020)
- As part of a 111 triage clinic. Please see more information here.
3. SMS invitations (Needs to utilise a partner for SMS)
4. Letters invitations (needs a hybrid mail partner)
Organisations can contract on a one-time basis to use Synertec to send a letter with the invite to the home of every patient. Synertec is already signing patients up in large acute trusts in many UK services and has a proven in use workflow. Synertec commercials and timescales to achieve this need to be discussed with Synertec directly.
Other hybrid mail organisations can integrate with PKB to post similar letters and invite patients. PKB along with the hybrid mail partner deliver the full user registration workflow and project manage the integration together, requiring no additional trust-side resource after a PKB live site with records exists (see https://deploy.patientsknowbest.com/reg/letters ).