Boots had appropriate systems in place to protect patient data
[London, UK] The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated the Boots online pharmacy services as ‘safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led’ following a June inspection.
In a report published earlier this month, the regulatory body said safeguards were used by the provider to prevent any abuse and mitigate risks, with appropriate systems used to ‘protect’ patient data:
“There were policies and Information Technology systems in place to protect the storage and use of all patient information. The service could provide a clear audit trail of who had access to records and from where and when.”
According to the CQC, the information people were given about their treatment options was ‘comprehensive’, including signposting to GPs or community pharmacies.
The regulator also found details of an incident with a computer system, which led to the incorrect dosage of a medicine used to stop smoking, although the issue was rectified by the company.
Patient identity - an area to improve
In terms of recommendations, Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice at the CQC, said Boots should improve the systems it currently uses to check patient identity and recognition of significant events.
Boots was reportedly holding consultations in June regarding the possibility to partner with a provider to supply a system able to verify patient identity against ‘several national databases’, minimising risk of fraud.
Earlier this year, four regulatory bodies issued a joint statement asking providers of online pharmacy services to follow prescribing guidelines.
“As with conventional GP surgeries, these online companies and pharmacies are required to provide safe, high-quality and compassionate care and must adhere to exactly the same standards. They must not cut corners,” Professor Field added at the time.