Effective date: July 1st 2019
At the Veterinary Hospital we have to hold and use personal information about our clients in the course of our business. This policy explains:
What information we hold
Why we need to hold this information
How we collect, update and store this information
When this information can be shared with others
Who are we?
We are Lincoln Veterinary Services Ltd trading as The Veterinary Hospital, Lincoln.
How do we obtain information about our clients?
Clients register with our practice by telephone, in person, in writing and via our practice website. Clients are asked to provide their names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses and details of their pets when registering in any of these ways.
Sometimes we will obtain additional information about our clients, for example if a client is injured on our premises and needs to fill in the First Aid book; or if they contact us by telephone or email and provide us with personal information in the course of discussing their pet’s care. We do not hold financial information of any sort for our clients. We can take payments over the telephone but no financial data is stored during this process.
How is this information used?
Most of the information collected forms part of patient clinical record. It is a legal obligation that we keep these records in connection with our veterinary work.
As part of our provision of preventative veterinary care for our patients, we also use this information to provide pet owners with the following reminders (by text message):
Vaccination reminders (once a year we send 1st and 2nd reminders to all cats, dogs and rabbit owners.)
Worming and flea/tick treatment reminders (every 1 to 3 months)
Reminders of appointments booked (24 hours before the appointment)
Clients are asked if they would like to receive these reminders when they register at the practice. If they would like to stop receiving them they can ask any member of the practice team to halt reminders through the text system. This can be switched off by every member of the practice team with immediate effect.
Where is this information stored, who can access it and how do you delete it?
Our clinical records are stored on a veterinary practice management IT system (PMS) which has been designed and is managed by an external IT company. All employees of The Veterinary Hospital have access to this computer system, with access controlled by individual passwords for each staff member. Physical security, electronic security, password and mobile working protocols are in place at the practice to protect the information held.
Incoming emails are managed by the practice secretary and the receptionists. Those that are relevant to a patient’s health or treatment are copied into the clinical records. Others are moved into separate folders depending on which member of staff they are intended for. Once emails are no longer required, they are deleted, and all emails are deleted after 12 months.
Who might we pass your information on to?
If patients are to be referred to another veterinary surgery, we will ask permission from our clients to pass their information on, so that the second veterinary surgery can continue to manage the case. We commonly refer patients to Pride Veterinary Centre, Animates Veterinary Clinic, Dick White Referrals, Minster Vets (Southwell), Allen Briggs and Turner and Willows in Solihull.
The Veterinary Hospital send laboratory samples to IDEXX Ltd, AXIOM Labs, Finn Laboratories and PALS. Some personal data will be provided in order to process and track samples and results.
Insurance companies require details of the policy holder when claim forms are completed. The Veterinary Hospital scan these forms into our PMS and post any physical copies to the relevant insurer.
As outlined in the invoicing terms and conditions, if an outstanding debt is not paid to The Veterinary Hospital within the agreed time period, The Veterinary Hospital may pass a client’s information on to Daniels Silverman Ltd who may use the information to contact clients and obtain payment.
Clients who request enrolment to Veterinary Hospital Care Plan (VHCP) in the future will have their name and email address provided to Easy Direct Debits. Clients will then enter a separate agreement with Easy Direct Debits who handle direct debit collections on our behalf. We provide and keep no additional personal or financial information as a result.
We do not sell, rent or share information with third parties for marketing purposes.
How can you access and update your information?
The accuracy of the information we hold is important to us. Our systems prompt us to ask you to check and update the personal information we hold as part of your pet’s clinical records, once a year. Additional checks are made as necessary (for example, when arranging to report laboratory results or admitting a patient for a procedure). You can of course, contact us at any time to let us know that your personal information has changed.
You have a right to ask for a copy of your pet’s clinical records and the information that The Veterinary Hospital holds about you. In some circumstances, you may have the right to ask us to erase personal data. We can under no circumstances delete clinical data on a patient. Please notify us of any incorrect information that we hold by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org in writing to The Veterinary Hospital, 175 Newport, Lincoln LN1 3DZ or by telephone on 01522 800333 or in person at Reception. The Practice Manager is the first point of contact if you wish to discuss this further (Katy Hockham).
Review of this policy
This policy is reviewed regularly. This policy was last updated on 24th June 2019.