*Warning* Dental Website Marketing

GDC 28-Day Countdown

New GDC Standards enforceable
from Monday 30th September 2013

I am writing to all Dental Focus Customers to warn you about the new GDC Standards for the Dental Team and how this impacts your professional use of the Internet and your dental website marketing.

Why does Dental Focus care about your Website Compliance?

The major benefit to you for complying with the rule of law is “peace of mind” that is priceless because nobody wants the GDC website to be ranked #1 on Google for their own personal name, especially with a link to the hearings and reports that come free with that special ranking. The Dental Focus philosophy is “Websites for your profit” and we must care about protecting your compliance and online reputation.

The relevant sections from the new GDC Standards requiring particular attention are Standards 1.9.1 (Data Protection Act),4.2.3 (Social Media & Blogs), 4.2.6 (Referrals & Social Media) and 4.5.2 (Website Forms & Email Encryption), 9.1.3 (Social Media & Blogs) – see the extracts below which affect your dental practice website marketing:

1.9.1 You must find out about, and follow, laws and regulations affecting your work. This includes, but is not limited to, those relating to: • data protection • employment • human rights and equality • registration with other regulatory bodies.

4.2.3 You must not post any information or comments about patients on social networking or blogging sites. If you use professional social media to discuss anonymised cases for the purpose of discussing best practice you must be careful that the patient or patients cannot be identified.

4.2.6 If a patient allows you to share information about them, you should ensure that anyone you share it with understands that it is confidential.

4.5.2 If you are sending confidential information, you should use a secure method. If you are sending or storing confidential information electronically, you should ensure that it is encrypted.

9.1.3 You should not publish anything that could affect patients’ and the public’s confidence in you, or the dental profession, in any public media, unless this is done as part of raising a concern. Public media includes social networking sites, blogs and other social media. In particular, you must not make personal, inaccurate or derogatory comments about patients or colleagues.

Further patient confidentiality guidelines will be published by the GDC concerning social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter. Watch this space for compliance warnings and advice on dental marketing with social media.

Dental Focus Website Solutions

Solution #1. Disclaimers will be automatically placed on all our 500+ client websites to protect you and ensure patients know not to send confidential medical details via email and website forms, which are not encrypted. This service is complimentary to all Dental Focus Customer Service Plan (CSP) clients.

Solution #2. Valident v-Form services have been specially developed to comply with GDC, DPA and CQC legislation, with sensitive patient data transfers from practice websites being fully encrypted. This trusted service is offered at a special discount to Dental Focus customers and incredibly important for Referral Forms.

Compliance must be implemented by 30 September 2013 and the new standards will link three different regulatory authorities all of which carry enforcement powers: (A) The General Dental Council (B) The Information Commissioner (Data Protection Act 1998) and (C) the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Dr. Nigel Knott is a dental surgeon with significant experience and a specialized knowledge of how the Data Protection Act impacts upon the use of online communications in dental practice. He is CEO of Dentsure Ltd. and has agreed to advise Dental Focus customers on measures they should take to comply with the new legislation. Nigel has published a number of articles on the subject in various dental journals and I would urge you to read his advice carefully.

Take action, scroll down to read the important message from Dr Nigel Knott.
Best wishes,
Krishan Joshi 
aka The Master
Founder of Dental Focus

Important Message from
Dr Nigel Knott BDS LDS
CEO Dentsure Ltd

“Krishan has requested my assistance to help Dental Focus Customers steer a safe passage through the jungle of Data Protection Act legislation and the impact this has on dental practices with Dental Focus websites. I am happy to assist him as being a Dentist brings a greater understanding of the problems and providing trusted solutions an imperative.”

4.5.2 If you are sending confidential information, you should use a secure method. If you are sending or storing confidential information electronically, you should ensure that it is encrypted.

“Valident v-Form services have been specially developed to comply with GDC, DPA and CQC legislation, with sensitive patient data transfers from practice websites being fully encrypted.

Protecting sensitive patient data is a professional duty of care. The Valident Brand Icon displayed on your Practice Website Home Page, brings confidence and trust to your patients and proves regulatory compliance.

For an exclusively discounted set up fee of £195+vat and monthly subscription from just £19+vat, Dental Focus customers can protect their website communications before 30 September 2013 when the GDC Standards will be enforced.

In the last few days a new customer has sought my advice as the practice Yahoo e-mail services account has been hacked with devastating effects. It is not just the fact that patients have been sent demands for cash to be sent to the Practice Principal, but the fact that the Data Controller has failed to implement the requirements of the DPA and the Practice Principal is culpable!

In February of this year I warned in my article published in the BDJ of the possible consequences of using insecure online communications. I am amazed the BDJ carries Classified advertisements from dental practices using insecure e-mail accounts for the transfer of sensitive personal data (PII) online in clear breach of the DPA!

I have developed the Valident services to give you the necessary peace of mind and practice website protection you need to comply with the law. I have written a special Dental Focus Newsletter and you can receive it by registering at www.valident.co.uk/df/ 

I hope this helps, thank you.”

Be compliant by 30th September 2013