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To think this doctors receptionist was a bit iffy?

(17 Posts)
42andcounting Mon 08-Jun-15 19:26:37

In the doctors today, I'm waiting for 'my' receptionist to get something for me, a woman comes up to the other receptionist. Woman is wearing the uniform of the pharmacy across the road, and is clearly known to the receptionist. She says "I don't know if you can do this, but I'm after the phone number for <patient name>. I need to let her know we've got her stuff but I don't have her number." The receptionist immediately looks up and writes down the number and hands it over.

Half of me thinks well fair enough, its benefitting the patient, and they clearly have regular interactions between the pharmacy and the doctors. The other half thinks it was a bit iffy in terms of data protection, and the receptionist should probably have rung the patient herself to ask if it was OK to hand over the number. Clearly none if my business anyway smile but I wondered what other people think?

floatyflo Mon 08-Jun-15 19:29:07

How do you know it was a patient and not a colleague/friend?

confusedandemployed Mon 08-Jun-15 19:29:12

YANBU. I was a practice manager, I'd have gone postal if one of my staff did this.

CrohnicallyInflexible Mon 08-Jun-15 19:31:38

Doesn't your phone number appear on your prescription anyway? So the doctors and pharmacy share data all the time. I expect you sign something to agree to it when you register with the doctor. Wouldn't bother me except I'd wonder why the pharmacy didn't already have my number.

takemetomars Mon 08-Jun-15 19:32:16

clear breach of patient confidentiality.
However, the patient probably didn't mind or even give it much thought!
Receptionist in the wrong

Aermingers Mon 08-Jun-15 19:38:05

A lot of doctors only do electronic prescriptions to nominated pharmacies these days. So if she went onto the patients profile she would have been able to see if the pharmacy had been nominated and therefore agreed that information should be shared. Even if they don't have electronic scrips yet she could have nominated them for pick up and thus info sharing.

By all means complain if you're concerned, but it could be innocent.

manchestermummy Mon 08-Jun-15 19:38:09

There's something not right here at all.

I was having dealings with a private company who did a scan on me and who I wanted to complain about (awful experience). The scan company phoned the GP repeatedly to ask them for my number, which the GP refused and rightly so.

Unless the patient has signed a waiver to state their number could be shared without consent, them I'm sure that shouldn't have happened.

42andcounting Mon 08-Jun-15 19:41:33

Floaty - sorry, I wasn't specific enough, was typing on my phone & rushing. She actually said "... got her stuff, she wants to know we've got it in before she goes on holiday", she also specifically said it was the mobile number that she didn't have. She seemed as if it was a patient she was talking about, but of course i couldnt swear to it.

Sorry if that sounds like a drip feed, like I say, rushing typing on phone (with fat fingers!) smile

NRomanoff Mon 08-Jun-15 19:41:49

The fact is you don't know what's going on. That patient may have signed a waiver, to say they can share information. If you are that concerned. You should have said something.

42andcounting Mon 08-Jun-15 19:46:29

Aer - thank you, that makes good sense, and is quite reassuring. I don't think I'd actually complain, but you do like to think that your medical practice don't play fast and loose with your personal info grin

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Mon 08-Jun-15 20:37:05

I suppose there's a possibility it might be innocent. But I think I'd be expecting to have my arse handed to me on a plate if I did this. Along with the threat it would be my P45 next time.

Flippidyflap Mon 08-Jun-15 21:59:51

I'm a nurse and we often have to phone GP surgeries to get a patient's telephone number and it amazes me how many just roll it off over the phone because I tell them I'm calling from a specialist unit. I love it when they ask me to send a fax on headed paper and hope my own surgery are as vigilant!

NoahVale Mon 08-Jun-15 22:01:55

i often ring doctor's surgeries for patient's telephone numbers. cannot see any problem with it at all.
sometimes they call me back, sometimes they dont.

Pumpeedo Mon 08-Jun-15 22:02:51

It's nothing to do with you so mind your bee's wax! If the patient doesn't like her number being given out then let her complain.

NoahVale Mon 08-Jun-15 22:05:58

i bet the patient was grateful

Birdsgottafly Mon 08-Jun-15 22:08:57

The patient might use the home delivery service from the pharmacy, or the automatic repeat prescription service etc.

I've traveled with lots of relatives who have needed meds ordering and the Pharmacy are always helpful and the GPs receptionist generally know whose info they can share.

My Mum is housebound and the Pharmacy and her Nurses/GP can all share information.

It was the same when I worked in Homecare.

People have very different needs.

BarbarianMum Mon 08-Jun-15 22:10:05

I've signed an agreement that allows my prescriptions to be sent direct to the local pharmacy for filling, so I'd be quite happy for them to get my phone no. from the Doctors and would consider that to come under legitimate use of the data for the intended purpose.

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