Clinco – taking the lead on flexible employment

At Clinco, all staff are fully employed and office-based.  We believe this leads to consistency and quality from a fully integrated and supported team – all essential when providing complex professional services such as the analysis of medical records.  Highly motivated and dedicated as our staff are, all have busy lives outside the workplace.  Clinco needs full focus and productivity during working hours, but has always recognised the work life balance as vital.  We depend on our staff and want them to feel they can control their time to meet the needs of their families and themselves.

By the time the Flexible Working Regulations came into force in June 2014, Clinco had already been successfully operating a fully flexible workplace for over five years.  Employees here do not need to request flexible working – it’s embedded in our working practices.  No one can be late for work at Clinco – it’s not a concept we use.  No one ever misses a school event during the working day or needs to worry about appointment times.  Unexpected crises at home are managed without the additional stress of placating a manager or asking for a favour. Our team self-record their hours and repay that trust with loyalty.  Our system works by creating a productive team of employees who stay with us.

Louise Borda, Associate Caseworker at Clinco, is a good example.  Louise, formerly a Coroner’s Officer, was used to an intense workplace with long, inflexible hours.  At Clinco, she can use her talents and pace but tailor her time to suit her needs.  It’s immensely rewarding as an employer to hear her say how much she appreciates this:

“Working at Clinco has changed my work/life balance significantly; from being able to attend school events to just being able to pick my sons up from school – this has led to a happier mum and happier children! I believe Clinco are strides ahead in terms of flexible working and I’m so grateful for having been given the opportunity to work with the team here”

We’d like to go further by de-regulation of holiday time and introduction of sabbaticals.  For any existing Clinco employees reading this, put your ideas to me and we will take a serious look at them.  If you are a medical lawyer or experienced nurse collator, and want the benefits of employment but the lifestyle of a self-employed worker, then send me your CV at sarahwallace@clinco.co.uk.

Louise and sons

Regulation and compliance – please ask for a copy of our free GDPR checklist

Having posted a blog last week about regulation in relation to medical records outsourcing, to tie in with what firms are doing to prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation due to take effect from May 2018, we decided to go further and provide a checklist to make compliance easier.

We have included the SRA regulation and guidance from the Law Society as well, to bring everything together in one place.  The result is a practical checklist which sets out the five steps medical lawyers need to be taking to ensure their outsourcing processes and documentation are fit for 2018.

We’ll be sending all Clinco client firms a copy but it is available free of charge to any medical lawyer or COLP on request – just email info@clinco.co.uk with the subject heading ‘Please send GDPR checklist’.

Using a medical collation service – regulation and compliance

It’s become common practice in recent years for clinical negligence practitioners to use a collation service – to order and paginate the medical records, and often to provide a chronological summary of events.

Outsourcing makes great sense and there’s been a natural uptake from medical lawyers, who are used to sending records out for other purposes – primarily to their medical experts.

However, outsourcing the pagination of the records (or any onward processing of personal and sensitive data) is about to get a lot more involved with the imminent arrival of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) due to come into force in May 2018.  The GDPR (Articles 28 and 29, Recitals 81) imposes a high duty of care on firms, as data controllers, in approving data processing service providers (including collators).  Compliance with this duty of care is going to require implementation and maintenance of a service provider procurement process, to show the data protection credentials on which the collation service has been selected. It is also going to mean a contract put in place to set out the collation service’s obligations (for example, in relation to technical and organisational measures taken to reduce the risk of data loss).

In fact, a formal contractual relationship is already required by the SRA where ‘legal activities’ (likely to include collation services) are concerned – Outcome 7.10 (b) of the SRA Code of Conduct.  Similarly, the Code of Conduct on client confidentiality (Outcomes 4.1 and 4.5) requires that firms must be able to demonstrate how they are satisfied that outsourcing suppliers take all appropriate steps to ensure client confidentiality.

We know that a high proportion of collation services provided in the UK have not previously been provided under contract, and that it’s been rare for enquiry to be made, in the past, into outsourcing confidentiality standards.

We’ve noticed that this is changing and, at Clinco, we welcome that change.  We believe in high standards and consider that protection of the sensitive data we are managing is paramount.  We have been working for some time on our electronic and hard copy systems to ensure that a data breach should not occur, and now we have become the only medical records collation service in the UK to be accredited with ISO27001; which demonstrates the extent of our commitment to information security.

If you are a departmental head or COLP, or just a compliance-minded fee earner, and would like to put yourself in a good position to comply with the SRA and GDPR requirements when you send your medical records out for collation, then consider sending them to Clinco.   You’ll get an excellent service too.

Whitepaper review EU GDPR

 

Clinco achieves highly-rated data protection standard: ISO 27001

We are delighted to announce that Clinco has achieved certification to the internationally recognised ISO 27001 standard in information security.  We believe that we are the first collation service in the UK to be accredited in this way.  Having been through the rigorous process successfully, Clinco can offer clients complete confidence that information and medical records are being kept and processed securely from start to finish.
 
As part of the accreditation process, Clinco underwent independent assessment, conducted by established auditors the British Assessment Bureau.  This assessment has been wide-ranging in its scope.  It covers all hard copy and electronic document management processes, so specialist IT input has been considerable.  It also covers more general aspects of management which impact on information security – such as business structure and continuity planning. 
 
We’re pleased and proud to have earned the right to display the ISO 27001 logo as a demonstration of Clinco’s commitment to its clients.  With ISO 27001 in place, Clinco is minimising risk of potential data security breaches whilst building integrity and trust – all essential in a business dealing daily with highly sensitive information.
 
We have more in the pipeline on the ongoing process of compliance, the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the likely changes in the role of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), and how you can ensure you are ahead on information security.