At Acorn House 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 Acorn House Veterinary Hospital, Linnet Way, Brickhill, Bedford, MK41 7HN.
How do we obtain information about our clients?
Clients register with our practice by telephone, in person or via our practice website. Clients are prompted to provide their names, 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 may also hold financial information if clients complete a debt payment plan with us. We can take payments over the telephone but no financial data is stored during this process, as payments are made over a separate non-recorded telephone line.
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)
- 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 reminders 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 which has been designed and is managed by an external IT company. All employees of Acorn House 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.
Our telephone calls are recorded on an IT system to which our senior staff have password-controlled access. The telephone recordings are deleted after 3 years.
Incoming emails are managed by the Practice Administrators. 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 Davies Veterinary Specialists, Cambridge Veterinary School, Abington Park Referrals, The Royal Veterinary College and to our veterinary physiotherapist, Nadia Kopec.
As outlined in the invoicing terms and conditions, if an outstanding debt is not paid to Acorn House Veterinary Hospital within the agreed time period, Acorn House may pass a client’s information on to Pride Debt Recovery Ltd, who may use the information to contact clients and obtain payment.
Clients that sign up for the Acorn Health Club or free PetPlan puppy or kitten insurance will complete a specific registration form that is passed onto Simply Health, (the company that manages the Acorn Health Club) or PetPlan. Further information is included on these registration forms.
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 to the hospital and checking contact details). 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 Acorn House Veterinary Hospital holds about you. In some circumstances, you may have the right to ask us to erase personal data. Please notify us of any incorrect information that we hold by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org; in writing to Acorn House Veterinary Hospital, Linnet Way, Brickhill, Bedford MK41 7HN; or by telephone on 01234 261839 or in person at Reception. The Practice Administrator is the first point of contact if you wish to discuss this further.
CCTV recording is in place in the following public areas: immediately outside the external doors, within the waiting room and inside the consulting rooms. The purpose of this CCTV is to ensure the safety and security of our staff and clients. CCTV images are recorded on a continuous loop and deleted after 30 days.
Review of this policy
This policy is reviewed regularly. This policy was last updated on 25th March 2022.
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Acorn House Veterinary Surgery
Linnet Way, Brickhill, Bedford, MK41 7HN