Posts tagged " digital consent forms "

GDPR AND ALTERNATIVE THERAPY CONSENT FORMS

July 24th, 2019 Posted by Acupuncture, Alternative Medicine, Clinic app, Consent forms, Consultation Forms, Electronic signatures, GDPR, Holistic Health, Hypnotherapy, Medical History Form, Paperless, Photography, Sports Therapy, Uncategorized, Web Design No Comment yet

It is now over one year since the GDPR legislation came into effect on the 25th of May 2018, and it’s still a major area of concern to many small and medium-sized endeavours.

The Alternative Medicine sector is no exception as I discovered when we exhibited at the Holistic Medicine Exhibition at the ICC in Birmingham recently. 

Almost everyone I spoke to wanted to know if we could help them with compliance. It was as important as the cost savings of going paperless for them. Convenience for them and their clients is the other main benefit.

Many of them were members of a Professional Hypnotherapy Association. They comply with the hypnotherapy code of ethics they studied as part of Hypnotherapy training. Therefore complying with GDPR is important too.

Fortunately, using paperless forms is a great cure for many GDPR headaches.

Nothing worries us more than the unknown. So I thought I’d write down a few words about how GDPR affects Hypnotherapists.

GDPR IS A SOLUTION NOT JUST A PROBLEM

Many people saw GDPR for alternative practitioners as a problem. By offering more transparency it safeguards consumer rights in our online world. Not a problem but a solution.

However, GDPR was written by highly paid lawyers. It appears designed to be complex to keep them in business. 

So here is my take on it, let’s start from the top, shall we? 

WHAT IS PERSONAL DATA?

Personal data means information relating to an identifiable person. Information including, names, addresses, dates of birth, ethnicity, medical information etc.

If you collect personal data for example, using an iPEGS electronic consent form you are the Controller and we are the Processor. The same is true for Medical history, Treatment plan or in fact any of our forms.

As a controller, you determine the purposes of processing personal data. We as a processor, are responsible for processing the data, storing it securely as well as keeping it accessible and within the law. 

A RECENT SURVEY SHOWED NEARLY 40% OF SMALL BUSINESSES DID NOT UNDERSTAND GDPR REGULATIONS

Most people who use paper forms are both the controller and processor. They hold all the responsibility themselves. 

HANDWRITTEN FORMS ARE DATA TOO

GDPR applies to both automated personal data and to manual filing systems. Handwritten forms are data just as the most sophisticated online form, only more cumbersome. 

You must keep an inventory of all personal data that you process.

If that data is digital with the right provider it is relatively simple to keep within the law. Paper-based data is much harder to manage.

THINGS YOU AS CONTROLLER OF PERSONAL DATA SHOULD CONSIDER

  • You must obtain consent to collect data, even the informed Consent to treatment form. You must receive Informed consent to collect Informed consent.
  • How do you store information? In a filing cabinet, on an excel sheet, or securely encrypted in the cloud?
  • Do you share or transport data and if so, how? Is it in the car as you travel between clients? Scanned, printed out and posted, emailed? All these present risks. If submitted securely to a UK data centre, as with iPEGS forms, for example, those risks disappear. Unlike your data might.
  • Is the information subject to a retention schedule?
  • You must keep client data, usually for 7 years.
  • The type of information you are holding (names, addresses, dates of birth, medical history, etc).
  • Do you collect it as paper forms, electronic forms, etc?
  • Will the information for marketing, research, evidence of permission?
  • Who will share the data?
  • Will there be an effect on the individual concerned and is it likely to cause any individuals to object or complain?

ALTERNATIVE THERAPISTS CLIENT’S RIGHTS UNDER GDPR

  • The right to be aware, of data you hold on them.
  • To have timely access to their personal data.
  • The right to request rectification, without delay.
  • To have personal data deleted.
  • The right to data portability, which allows individuals to obtain and reuse their personal data.
  • The right to object, for example, using their data for direct marketing.

If you lose data and let’s face it losing a paper form is easy to do even in the best run surgeries, this counts as a breach.

GDPR WHAT ARE THE RISKS FOR THE HYPNOTHERAPY PRACTITIONER?

If someone gains unauthorised access to your client’s private information, you have 72 hours to report the data breach to both your customers and any data controllers, if your company is large enough to require a GDPR data controller. Failure to report breaches within this timeframe can lead to heavy fines. 

For most practices, GDPR creates the need for greater investment either in consultant’s fees or in your own valuable time. Ensuring your operational processes are up to the required standards, ensuring websites, forms etc are designed and optimised for the latest protocols.

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CONTROLLING DATA

  • Are you or someone on your team trained on data protection?
  • What changes have you made this year to become GDPR compliant?
  • Have you built client consent into your system ?

Clients can give consent in various ways, such as email, a contact form on the website, a check-box on your landing page, tick box on the form etc.

Consent records must specify the time and date when consent was given, as well as the exact means they delivered consent. 

COMPLIANCE INSPIRES TRUST

Compliance not only protects the patient, but it also protects your surgery from overstepping the boundaries.

Companies who seem to cut corners with data protection might well cut corners elsewhere. Most of us are members of a National Hypnotherapy association and have no problems with Hypnotherapy ethical issues. Cutting corners is not in our DNA we understand Our ethics and professionalism are all we have. So going digital make sense.

Can you simply and rapidly process data deletion for clients. Is it at the press of a button or will it take hours of work?

Do any 3rd parties have access to your client’s data? Third party access to data is all too common, third parties who might be using the same network or facilities, you need to be aware of any other parties who might have access to the data you’re collecting. This can be a particular problem in mixed therapy practices. Is it kept in a filing cabinet where others have access or a shared network?

How easy is it to export your data? Is it available at the touch of a button or is it a trip down to the cellar and a root through the filing cabinets?

PRIVACY BY DESIGN

One component of GDPR is privacy by design. This requires therapists to design their systems with the proper security protocols in place from the start. Failure to design your systems of data collection the right way will result in a hefty fine. It is a good idea to take a good look at your website if it hasn’t had a design overhaul in the last year or so.

Are your forms easy to find and wipe? Who has copies? Are you holding data on your phone, laptop or PC and do others have access to these devices?

GDPR seems complex, but essentially it refers to the need to have business systems designed with proper security and privacy measures integral. iPEGS paperless forms, for example, is such a system.

If you would like to find out more about how a system such as iPEGS can help you manage your client data, please check out our website www.ipegs.co.uk or contact me directly steve @ipegs.co.uk or call me on 01244 955350, I will be pleased to help.

WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT MANAGING MY ALTERNATIVE THERAPY SITE

July 24th, 2019 Posted by Acupuncture, Alternative Medicine, Clinic app, Consent forms, Consultation Forms, Electronic signatures, Holistic Health, Hypnotherapy, marketing, Medical History Form, Paperless, Sports Therapy, Uncategorized, Web Design No Comment yet

MANAGING MAGIC COOKIES ON MY ALTERNATIVE THERAPY WEBSITE

Managing your alternative therapy website is part of iPEGS series of blogs on marketing your Alternative Therapy Practice. A covert plan to force our clients to use more paperless new client forms, informed consent forms etc.

As a modern business owner, as well as a healer, there are many hats we have to wear. Unfortunately ‘Webmaster’ is just one of them.

Most of us are not running big corporations, but small practices, or are even individual traders, so it is often up to us alone to get things right. 

Websites for therapists are now as important as our shop window. There are many affordable websites for therapists, which are easy to manage. There are even some free websites for therapists that can work for us. The best websites for therapists, give you a lot of control not only of content but the system behind the content.

We might not have built our own website, but it is most likely that we manage it. We write the content, run ad campaigns to promote it, send out newsletters and use our web presence to build our patient base. It’s how we increase the numbers of visits on our therapist’s website and promote our therapy business.

Just as we manage the data that we collect from our new client forms, or medical histories and get informed consent to treat our patients. 

Whether we collect this information using modern paperless forms or on paper stored in filing cabinets, even collected on our computer directly from our website, it still has to be managed.

As part of the iPEGS team, I have written a lot about GDPR and data collection for therapists and the new regulations. GDPR is one of the many reasons our clients decide to go paperless with iPEGS. 

KEEPING UP WITH THE RULES

This week I have been reading the ICO’S (Information Commissioner’s Office) latest newsletter and found out quite a bit of interest and might keep our clients out of trouble.

A lot of us use Facebook and Twitter and other social media to drive traffic to our main site. To do this and monitor our progress we use cookies.

COOKIES AND THERAPY

There was a time when a cookie was something we indulged in with a cup of coffee. The first web cookies were called Magic Cookies in 1994.

Nowadays they are a vital part of our online activities. Just like using client’s data and GDPR, the rules are changing, and we have to keep up.

In this new, post-GDPR era, rules are changing about how we can use cookies. More importantly how our clients reject them.

These magic Cookies have been around for 25 years, but are still a mystery to most of us. We have written a short blog explaining the term cookies if you wish to read it.  

IT’S ALL ABOUT INFORMED CONSENT

The rules that regulate Cookies are the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations, not GDPR but PECR. Just what I needed another Acronym to write about. However, it’s still all about informed consent .

You can read the full regs on their site.

Here are a few things that you might find interesting…

Until recently if someone came on our site, unless they said otherwise, they accepted our use of cookies. 

Now our visitor must take positive action to consent to non-essential cookies.

Essential cookies are only those that are strictly necessary to fulfil your client’s requirements. They are, for instance essential for your shopping cart, or for clients to log in.

Non-essential may seem essential to you, but the client is number one in this new digital era.

Even cookies that are helpful to make the client’s navigation of our website easier, need your client’s informed consent.

Your website must clearly tell our user what cookies are set and what they do, including third party cookies.

Pre ticked boxes or sliders cannot be set to on. Except for essential cookies, our user must take the decision to apply them. 

Non-essential cookies cannot be set into our home page or landing page. 

Analytics cookies need consent. They tell us if that ad campaign working? Did that mail shot work? How many hits did we get last week, where were they from, which pages did the client visit?

These cookies might seem essential to us as the website owner. However, if we don’t have analytics running, our user can still use our site. Therefore they are not essential to our reader. We need consent.

FORCING OUR CLIENT’S DECISIONS

‘Well if the client doesn’t want to let us use our very reasonable cookies, we can just block the page access right’?

Probably not. Phrases like ‘by continuing to use this website you agree to our use of cookies’. Smacks of walking into a bank holding a gun. Then asking the teller for a donation to your holiday fund. It is not a valid request for consent.

It’s all about your user’s needs and their prior consent to use the information we glean from their visit. Which is not that different from when you explain the treatment you propose and ask for patients informed consent really. We wouldn’t consider treating people without consent, would we?

It feels like the ICO wants me to stop using cookies altogether’. Well not really, without cookies the web would come to a grinding halt. 

There have however been a lot of abuses of user’s information and the pendulum is swinging back to personal choice. Which is not a bad thing. We have all, I’m sure, felt a little sore about how our data has been bought and sold in the marketplace by faceless multinationals. 

Cookie compliance is an area of expansion for the ICO in the future. I sometimes wonder if it is also about protecting the huge corporations. Those who now own the internet from new competition, but maybe I am just a little paranoid.

BEING NICE AND SAYING PLEASE

That said it’s really just about being nice and asking permission. Most people are understanding and if you take time to explain why you need permission, will give it.

It would be worth your while having a look at your site and checking if you are up to date on your cookie policies. If someone else manages your website, talk to them about how your cookies are set and if they need to make changes on your behalf.

At iPEGS paperless forms, we are all about making life easier for our clients and helping them save time and money. If you are still using paper forms, stored in filing cabinets or on your computer. We can definitely help you save both. Why not check out our website and see how we can help? If you found this article useful please let me know.

By using the iPEGS Paperless System for your Consultation Forms, Consent Forms, Medical Histories and Treatment Plans you can be sure that your data is safe. As the data processor we store and encrypt your data in a secure, state of the art, UK data centre. We are Cyber Essentials Certified giving you peace of mind that our defences will protect against the most common cyber-attacks. We have achieved the IASME governance standard in relation to GDPR where we have demonstrated wider governance for management of the controls protecting personal data.

If you would like to know more, please email me: steve @ipegs.co.uk or you can call me directly on 01244 955350 and we can discuss how iPEGS can help improve your data security and client’s experience.

MARKETING ONLINE FOR ALTERNATIVE THERAPISTS

July 24th, 2019 Posted by Acupuncture, Alternative Medicine, Consent forms, Consultation Forms, Holistic Health, Hypnotherapy, Medical History Form, Paperless, Sports Therapy, Uncategorized, Web Design No Comment yet

Marketing Online for Alternative therapists is part of the iPEGS series of blogs on marketing your Alternative Therapy Practice. A covert plan to force our clients to use more paperless new client forms, informed consent forms etc. Here is a list of places you can cheaply promote your practice.

Having built an excellent website, we need to get it an audience. However until you can get that site in front of your potential patients it is just a vanity project.

“The man who has a thing to sell, and goes and whispers it down a well, is not so likely to collar the dollars as he who climbs a tree and hollers!”

1920s marketing slogan.

INVEST IN GROWING YOUR PRACTICE

Running your own business is a demanding thing. For every hour you get paid for, you can spend two in setting up your practice and building your client base at the start.

That means you are only earning 10 pounds per hour worked if you charge your client 30 pounds an hour.

Fortunately, the return on one hour spent promoting your website can result in bookings for 5 hours according to experienced therapists.

Therefore that hour will pay you 150 pounds in the long run.

After your site has been running for a while, remember to revisit it and refresh it as you would your wardrobe.

WAYS OF DRIVING TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE

WRITE A BLOG...

Publishing a regular blog will help you raise your profile and ranking on the search engines. This is what I am doing now for our website www.ipegs.co.uk.

You are proud of what you do, talk about it, be it Reiki, Acupuncture, Hypnosis Therapy or another alternative therapy. 

By producing original and helpful content about your speciality you will generate interest from potential and actual clients. 

Talk about your teachers and how they inspired you. The courses you have taken to get where you are. 

Share your vision, your journey. You became a therapist because you want to help others and believe you can do that. This commitment will interest and engage by your audience.

By connecting your blog to your website you can help drive traffic to it and improve your search engine rankings. 

‘FOR UNTO EVERYONE THAT HATH SHALL BE GIVEN’.

Mathew 25;29

The more traffic you get the higher you rise in the search engines. The higher you are ranked, the more visitors you receive, it is a virtuous circle.

BE SOCIAL

Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Linkedin….

Social media can still be done for free and is one of the easiest ways to market yourself.

You have a great story to tell. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram are all forums to tell that story.

You have an informed opinion so get involved in forum discussions.

Create a business account on these popular sites. Maximise your online presence by posting regularly with varied content. 

FACEBOOK

Create a company page and your customers can easily keep in contact with you.

Video arouses people’s interest faster than any other content, with attention spans shortening you have 1.2 seconds to make an impression and keep their attention.

Make a video and post it, if you are a masseuse, get your partner to star in your ‘how to relieve stress’ massage video.

If Acupuncture is your speciality, do a visual demonstration of the art. Remember in social media ‘show not tell’ is more effective.

Facebook knows this and will share your video far more widely than text. 

You don’t have to be Michael Bay or Steven Spielberg; you just have to show you care about what you do. 

If you can make people laugh as well as inform them, you have 75% of your audience in the palm of your hands.

TWITTER

Is instant and more about sound bites or customer service. Easily accessible to your customers. Having 140 characters means you need to be short, and sweet.

INSTAGRAM

Is all about show don’t tell. Pictures of the team, happy clients, short videos of your services and products in action. Keep it current and create a buzz about your crew.

Instagram is owned by Facebook so any advertising you do may also be shown in people’s Instagram feed everyone loves a twofer.

SNAPCHAT

Is relatively the new kid on the block use it in the same way as Instagram, remember you can post your material on more than one site. So, Snapchat is another string to your social media revenue machine.

LINKEDIN

Is about you connecting with businesses and professionals within your field. This is a longer-term investment in your brand. Gaining credibility with your peers will pay dividends as they link with you and share your posts within the community.

This blog is one of a series written by iPegs paperless forms in order to help Holistic Practitioners grow their practices.

By using the iPEGS Paperless System you present a professional approach for your Consultation Forms, Consent Forms, Medical Histories and Treatment Plans. Save time and money and keep your client’s data safe.

As the data processor we store and encrypt your data in a secure, state of the art, UK data centre. We are Cyber Essentials Certified giving you peace of mind that our defences will protect against the most common cyber-attacks. We have achieved the IASME governance standard in relation to GDPR where we have demonstrated wider governance for management of the controls protecting personal data.

If you would like to know more simply email me: steve @ipegs.co.uk or call me directly on 01244 955350 and we can discuss how iPEGS can help improve your client’s experience.

BLOGGING FOR ALTERNATIVE THERAPISTS

July 24th, 2019 Posted by Acupuncture, Alternative Medicine, Consent forms, Consultation Forms, Holistic Health, Hypnotherapy, marketing, Medical History Form, Paperless, Sports Therapy, Uncategorized, Web Design No Comment yet

Here is another idea of how you can cheaply promote your practice as part of the iPEGS series of blogs on marketing your Alternative Therapy Practice, a covert plan to force our clients to use paperless new client forms, informed consent forms etc.

In the blog on Marketing your Therapy practice, I have talked about the power of blogging as a marketing tool. Today I would like to share some ideas on effective blog writing.

PLAN FIRST, WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY

Choose your subject, do your research, decide what you want to say and write it down.

BE INFORMATIVE

Compare these two sentences:

1: iPEGS produces paperless forms for Alternative Therapists.

2: At iPEGS we produce Online digital Consent Forms, Consultation Forms, Medical History Forms, New Client Forms, Treatment Plans, Parental Consent Forms, Patient Feedback Forms and other forms that you may need for your practice.

Which arouses your interest and informs you best?

LESS IS MORE

Be smart, don’t try to sound smart. Use simple terms, make, not fabricate, meet, not encounter, join, not amalgamate.

Keep your sentences short. Easy to read and understand. Every sentence holding a single thought. 

What can be said in ten words, doesn’t need twenty.

Use large fonts, short lines and lots of white space. Create subheadings after at most four paragraphs.

KEEP FOCUS

Rambling on is a fault of many writers. Rambling is commonly used to describe a meandering country walk. Clare Balding hosts a very good radio 4 series called ‘Ramblings’. Self indulgence isn’t helpful. 

AVOID USING THE PASSIVE VOICE

The active voice has an actor (Subject), who does (Verb) something to either a person, animal or thing (Object).

In English, using the active voice, sounds direct and straightforward. Direct and straightforward is exactly what we want our clients to think of us.

Active voice

Passive sentences irritate people.

S Sentences, V irritate, O People.

Passive voice V.S.O. makes your writing more distant and your message is less clear.

Passive Voice

People are irritated by passive sentences.

O People Irritated Sentences.

Although you cannot always avoid using the passive voice, whenever possible try using an, active alternative.

SAY IT WELL AND SAY IT ONCE

Don’t say something several times. If you have to repeat yourself then you didn’t explain your idea properly the first time.

EDIT RUTHLESSLY

Treat every word as if it costs you money. Shorten, delete, and rewrite anything that does not add to the meaning.

DON’T RUSH TAKE YOUR TIME

First write down what you want to say.

Then go away and leave your blog to marinate for a few hours or overnight.

Then rewrite it and finally check for grammar and spelling errors. 

Your blog is more likely to be read, by following these style suggestions. After all you want a best seller not a cult classic. 

One of a series of blogs written by iPegs paperless forms in order to help Holistic Practitioners grow their practices.

By using the iPEGS Paperless System you present a professional approach for your Consultation Forms, Consent Forms, Medical Histories and Treatment Plans Save time and money and keep your client’s data safe.

As the data processor we store and encrypt your data in a secure, state of the art, UK data centre. We are Cyber Essentials Certified giving you peace of mind that our defences will protect against the most common cyber-attacks. We have achieved the IASME governance standard in relation to GDPR where we have demonstrated wider governance for management of the controls protecting personal data.

If you would like to know more simply email me: steve @ipegs.co.uk or call me directly on: 01244 955350 and we can discuss how iPEGS can help improve your client’s experience.

How Dental Practices Can Go Paperless

June 25th, 2019 Posted by Clinic app, Consultation Forms, Dental Practise, Electronic signatures, News, Paperless No Comment yet

 

A trip to the dentist is something that cannot be avoided. Dental practices see vast amounts of patients each day resulting in printing huge amounts of paper based documents for patients to complete, sign and to then be manually inputted into their system. For some practices, once this form has been completed it is then scanned onto a management system and then shredded which is an unproductive, costly and a time consuming process.

We provide a solution to this problem, enabling patients to fill in medical history forms and sign treatment plans digitally through the iPEGS app using an iPAD or tablet. This document can then be converted to a pdf, excel, word, csv or an xml document and stored onto your patients record or emailed directly to the customer or healthcare professional.

Our practice surveys allow businesses to understand and improve on the service and environment that they offer for their clients. This allows management teams to analyse this data through the advanced reporting feature.

iPEGS will allow you to access a range of branded and customised electronic forms for your patients to complete and sign at the surgery using an iPAD or any device. You can also send the form electronically to your patients to complete and sign prior to their appointment via iPEGS Remote. Once completed, this can then be stored on your computer, CRM system or saved on the iPEGS portal for reference.

If you are interested in finding out how iPEGS can work within your business then please call us on01244 955350 or email us at info@ipegs.co.uk.

Send & receive urgent consent forms with iPEGS Remote

December 9th, 2016 Posted by Clinic app No Comment yet

The iPEGS Remote mobile app allows businesses to immediately send customised consent forms to their clients who will be alerted regarding the form and receive this through the MiPEGS app on their smart phone to complete, sign and send back. We have many clients who use the iPEGS Remote app in an emergency situation.

Veterinary surgeons frequently need consent from owners to be able to operate on their animal in unforeseen circumstances. iPEGS Remote provides a solution for them, allowing forms to be sent and accessed by the client remotely wherever they may be in the world.

Receive, sign and submit……….

            

The app is available for android and IOS and can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. If a client does not have a smartphone to download the iPEGS Remote app then consent forms can still be sent as a web form and completed signed and submitted back on any device.

If you have a need to send forms directly to your clients, patients or customers to be accessed promptly and sent back in real time then speak to us. We will be able to help you build and brand your digital forms ready to send and receive. To open an account, or for a demo then please contact us at info@ipegs.co.uk or contact us directly on 01244 955350.

For digital form filling in a client face to face situation you can use our iPEGS app which stores multiple digital forms that can be accessed, completed, signed, saved or submitted using the app on an iPAD or tablet downloadable from the App Store or Google Play. The iPEGS app is extremely valuable in a surgery environment and vets use the app for all their form filling requirements which saves time, money on printing costs and improves productivity.