Unit name: Handle information in care settings
Learning outcome: 2. Be able to implement good practice in handling information
Assessment criteria: 2.1 Describe features of manual and electronic information storage systems that help ensure security
To provide high-quality care, care organisations must have access to personal information about the individuals they support. Because this information can be sensitive, it is a legal and ethical requirement that it is stored securely.
The best way to ensure the security of confidential information is by storing it in a secure location. This can be done manually or electronically.
Manual Storage Methods:
Manual storage methods involve using physical documents, folders and shelves to store records.
The benefit of this type of storage is that it does not require electricity or power and there are no risks associated with electronic malfunctions. Additionally, manual systems don’t have any risk for remote data breaches since they do not use computers or networks to store data which can make them more cost-effective than their electronic counterparts. The drawback is that this form of information management requires more manual labour, time and storage space.
Information stored in this way should be secured with keys or passcodes so that only authorised people are able to gain access – these could secure rooms, filing cabinets, drawers or cupboards. Contingency measures may need to be taken to ensure that information is not susceptible to fire or water damage.
There will be procedures in place to ensure that people can only access information on a need-to-know basis.
Electronic Storage Methods:
One of the benefits of electronic storage is that information can be accessed and recorded remotely. Another benefit is that storing data digitally reduces the risk for fire or water damage because there are no physical pieces to the data.
One disadvantage associated with electronic storage methods is that data can be hacked due to its reliance on networks and computers which means there are more chances of information being breached.
Therefore, it is essential that robust systems and policies are in place to prevent this. Firewalls, antivirus systems and password protection should be used to prevent hacking, cyber-attacks or malicious software from compromising data. Individual employees should ensure that their password details are not shared with others. Regular backups may need to be performed to safeguard against hardware failures.