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    As ClinicOffice has evolved over the years, a number of different options have been implemented which allow you to control / restrict access to patient records. This FAQ will discuss the different options and help you to decide which methods suit you best.

    [1] Staff Access Rights

    In the “Staff Editor | Access Rights” screen you can assign what access rights each staff member has.
    (NOTE: You can also create “Access Groups” and then assign staff members to a group, which is the best way of managing a larger number of staff members – please see the User Guide for more information on Access Groups.)

    Under the “Other Options” section, notice the access right called “Restrict to Own Patients“. This has three settings as shown below :-


    The options are :- No Restriction – self explanatory

    Their Own Patients Only – the staff member can only see patient records where they are the patient’s primary practitioner

    Their Patients and Seen Patients – they can only see patient records where they are the patient’s primary practitioner, or if they have had appointments with the patient

    Q. Where is this setting enforced in ClinicOffice?
    This setting is enforced in the following locations :-

    (i) In the main “Patient Database” screen, restricted patients will be hidden

    (ii) In the “Patient Selector(e.g. selecting a patient for an appointment) restricted patients are hidden

    (iii) The “Patient Editor” is not accessible for restricted patients

    (iv) The “Clinical Notes” screen is not accessible for restricted patients

    (v) The “Clinical Summary” screen is not accessible for restricted patients

    Q. Where is this setting NOT enforced in ClinicOffice?
    Firstly, reports are not affected by this access right. Instead, each report can be configured separately as to whether a staff member (or access group) can access it, hence you should also disallow access to any reports which would give staff members access to patients that are not theirs.

    Secondly, if you allow the staff member access to the entire clinic diary, he/she will be able to see other practitioner’s appointments in the diary, along with the patient names (although if they tried to open the Patient Record from the diary for a patient who is not theirs, they would be blocked).

    Set the access right “Diary – View Other Staff” to false (i.e. unticked) to prevent a staff member from seeing other practitioner’s diaries.

    Q. When would I use the this access right?
    This access right should be used (in conjunction with disabling reports and the “Diary – View Other Staff” access right) when you want to completely restrict practitioners from seeing any details of patients who do not belong to them.

    [2] Patient Editor “Assign Access” Feature (introduced in build 1093)

    In the “Patient Editor” screen, you can click the ASSIGN ACCESS button (shown below) to specify which staff members have access to the patient’s record and which are restricted.
    (NOTE: Only a supervisor can configure access to patient records in this way. If you don’t have supervisor access, you will be able to SEE what access restrictions apply, but not change them.)


    Clicking this button will invoke the “Assign Access” screen which allows you to select which staff members (or TEAMS) are allowed access to this patient record.

    Q. Where is this setting enforced in ClinicOffice?
    This setting is enforced in the following locations :-

    (i) The “Patient Editor” is not accessible for restricted patients

    (ii) The “Clinical Notes” screen is not accessible for restricted patients

    (iii) The “Clinical Summary” screen is not accessible for restricted patients

    Q. Where is this setting NOT enforced in ClinicOffice?
    The “Assign Access” feature will ONLY restrict access to the patient’s personal details (in the Patient Editor) and their clinical notes. It does not disallow staff members from seeing the patient in the main patient database screen, or in any reports or other areas of the program.

    Q. Can I configure access “en-masse”?
    Yes – simply go to the Patient Database grid and select multiple patients (using SHIFT-click or CTRL-click), then right click -> ASSIGN ACCESS.

    Q. When should I use the “ASSIGN ACCESS” feature?
    When you want to prevent unauthorised staff members from accessing the Patient Editor, Clinical Notes or Clinical Summary for a patient.

    [3] Patient Editor “Password Protect” Feature

    In the “Patient Editor” screen, click the PASSWORD PROTECT button (shown below) to create a password which will have to be entered whenever a user attempts to access a patient’s record or clinical notes.


    Q. When will the password protection be triggered?
    The user will be prompted for the password when :-

    (i) The “Patient Editor” is opened

    (ii) The “Clinical Notes” screen is opened

    (iii) The “Clinical Summary” screen opened

    Q. What does this feature NOT protect in ClinicOffice?
    The password prompt only appears when a user attempts to open the patient’s personal details (in the Patient Editor) or their clinical notes. It does not disallow staff members from seeing the patient in the main patient database screen, nor in any reports or other areas of the program.

    Q. When should I use the “PASSWORD PROTECT” feature?
    Password protection for patient records was an older privacy mechanism introduced in ClinicOffice v4. A number of customers wanted to have “fine grain” control over who could access certain patient records.

    As a general rule, the other two access restriction features (i.e. [1] Staff Access Rights and [2] the “Assign Access” feature) are better options to use and are easier to manage, however this option is still available for users who may wish to restrict access to sensitive patient data with password protection.

    Hopefully the above information is useful in explaining the options available to you for restricting access to patients, but if you require any more information or need any clarification, please feel free to contact us (or post below) and we’ll be happy to help!

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