As soon as you arrive at the UMCG and are admitted as a patient, we will start to process your personal data. By processing we mean that, for example, we will store and supplement your data, supply them to your health care providers and, in due time, delete these data again. If you are treated by us, we will be processing your medical data in your patient file.
What and why?
We need your personal data to provide you with the best possible care, which is also what we stand for! Every health care provider will do his or her utmost to give you the best possible treatment. For this purpose, we need your medical data, such as what you have told your doctor, test results, your diagnosis and treatment plan. Apart from your medical data, we also need other personal data, such as your name, address, date of birth and CSN. We need this to be able to identify you and to make sure we don’t confuse you with another patient. In terms of all this information, we will not process any data other than those we need to provide you with proper care. We will keep your data for at least 15 years after your treatment has been completed. Because the UMCG is a university hospital, we are obliged by law to retain certain data in your medical file, the so-called ‘key records’, for 115 years, counting from your birth. These key records include your discharge letter, operation report, anaesthetist’s report, pathologist’s test results and emergency admission report.
We consider it our duty to protect your data as best we can, which is part of our daily work. All health care providers and assistants directly involved in your treatment are under a legal duty to observe confidentiality and will not disclose your data to third parties. If we would nevertheless find it important to share your data with other parties, then you will have the right to decide and we will ask your permission. In emergencies, however, we may make a different decision.
That we do not simply share your data with other people may have consequences for people who wish to visit you while you are staying at the UMCG. We find it extremely important that you are able to decide who is allowed to visit you and who is allowed to know that you are staying at the UMCG. Consequently, if a call comes in for you at our central telephone number, we will not supply any information, but tell the caller that he or she may contact you or your contact person directly. Visitors who arrive at our reception desk will only be given information about you if you have given us permission to do so. This will then be information such as whether or not you have been admitted to the UMCG and, if so, in which ward or room you are staying. Before you are admitted to the UMCG, we will ask you whether or not you will give us permission to give this information. Your permission will apply to anyone who asks for you at our reception desk, including, for example, your minister or priest. If you do not give permission or, for some reason, we have not been able yet to ask for your permission, then, to protect your privacy, we will not provide any information about your situation, not even whether or not you are staying at the UMCG.
If you have been admitted through the Emergency Department, then a friend or family member may contact our reception desk to find out where you are. In this case, the receptionist will refer this person to the Emergency Department. It is then up to the Emergency staff to decide whether or not information may be supplied about you. Of course, they will take into account whether or not you are able to speak and verify that this person is indeed one of your close friends or relatives. If you are transferred from Emergency to a nursing ward, you will be asked as yet for permission to give information about you to your visitors.
You may inspect your personal data and the complete patient file we have of you. You can ask your doctor and your doctor is not entitled to refuse this, although he or she may screen off certain parts if these concern another person, such as a family member. Your doctor will not be obliged to give inspection of his or her personal work notes.
You may ask for a copy of your file free of charge by sending an email to VMG@umcg.nl or a letter to the Head of the Department in which you are treated or to the Director of Patient Care, Quality & Safety UMCG, internal postcode LA10, PO Box 30001, 9700 RB Groningen. Send a copy of your identity card with your request. Your identity card will be destroyed immediately after your identity has been checked. You may include a request for copies of photos which have been taken. If you want more than one copy of your patient file, we will charge a reasonable fee for the extra copies.
You have the right to have your personal data changed, for example, if you have moved and we have the wrong address for you or if we have made a mistake with your date of birth or misspelt your name. These are changes in factual data. Your diagnosis, for example, you are not allowed to change, but you may always add your own point of view to your file, as well as the result of a second opinion.
- If you wish to change your personal data, such as your address, you may contact one of the people treating you.
- If you want to add something to your file or correct some inaccuracies, you may send an email to VMG@umcg.nl or send a letter to the Director of Patient Care, Quality & Safety UMCG, internal postcode LA10, PO Box 30001, 9700 RB Groningen.
You may ask for your file to be deleted, whether the entire file or a part of it. Send your request for your file to be deleted by email to VMG@umcg.nl or by letter to the Director of Patient Care, Quality & Safety UMCG, internal postcode LA10, PO Box 30001, 9700 RB Groningen, with a copy of your identity card. In most cases, the UMCG must comply with your request for the (partial) deletion of your file, but not in all cases, for example, if your doctor is of the opinion that it is clearly in your own interest to retain the file or parts of it. After all, your doctor is also bound by his or her duty to provide care. In this case, your doctor may reconsider the deletion of your file together with you. Your request may also be refused if your doctor is obliged to retain your file for a certain period of time in accordance with the law or regulations. For example, we are obliged to retain the financial details of invoices for medical care for 7 years. Likewise, if it is extremely important for another person that your file is retained, your request to have it deleted may be refused. This may be related, for example, to the interests of your child in connection with hereditary diseases. Your doctor must be able to give you the reasons why he or she is not willing to delete your file or parts of it.
If you don’t agree with this and still wish to have your file deleted, you can ask your doctor for an additional explanation and discuss the options together. You may also lodge a complaint with the UMCG. To lodge a complaint, you may contact our Patient Information Desk or submit your complaint to our Complaints Officer. You will find more information about this in our pamphlet.
You have the right to take your personal data with you and to transfer it to another hospital or health care provider. This is also called data portability. This right only applies to information which you have supplied to the UMCG actively and consciously. This includes the measuring results of a pacemaker or sphygmomanometer. The right to data portability does not apply to the information recorded by your doctor on the basis of details supplied by you, such as conclusions, diagnoses, surmises and treatment plans.