Doctors must be careful with tablet devices, warns MPS

Doctor using tablet computer

Doctors must be vigilant about patient data on tablet computers

Use of tablet computers to access confidential patient data is posing a security problem, according to the Medical Protection Society (MPS), which believes that “convenience should not compromise confidentiality“.

According to the society, a number of MPS members receive patient complaints about confidentiality breaches.

Tablet computers used by doctors often do not have secure, encrypted passwords and may be shared with family members who use them to play games and watch movies, making them vulnerable to hacking and viruses.

It is not just the technical issues: these devices are used in cafes and trains, making them visible to the public and at risk of being lost or stolen, leaving crucial patient data exposed.

Dr Nick Clements, head of medical services at MPS said that tablet devices are essential for busy GPs to “support patient care, such as accessing medical records remotely” and must be used albeit with “a bit of patient confidentiality vigilance”.

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