Patients’ medical notes from their appointments at Milton Keynes Hospital are being sent 4,000 miles away to INDIA to be typed up, the MK Citizen can reveal.
The details are dictated into digital devices by doctors and consultants and then flown to the mega city of Bengaluru to be transcribed and typed by a company called Scribe Tech.
The news came to light after a patient had a lengthy appointment in outpatients last week.
“I joked afterwards to the consultant that there was a lot of typing to be done. He said it would all be sent over to India as part of a cost-saving move. It then goes backwards and forwards for corrections, often causing delays,” said the patient.
He added: “I find it unacceptable that patients’ notes are being allowed to leave the UK.
“This system could lead to a huge data breach or, even worse, lead to mis-typed mistakes causing wrong treatment and safety issues for patients.”
Milton Keynes university hospital bosses this week insisted the outsourcing to India was perfectly safe .
A spokesman said:““The hospital still has in-house typists and secretaries, but the volumes of patients seen every year and the letters that follow those appointments are such that we need to use outsourced support.
“Digital dictation files are sent to Scribe Tech to be transcribed (typed) before being returned to the hospital via a secure online system. “No patient-identifiable data is included in the dictation file – the files are identifiable using a code that can be matched to a patient record only by hospital staff.”
The spokesman added: “Data privacy and confidentiality are paramount and MKUH takes that responsibility seriously. All data sent to Scribe Tech is anonymised.
“Patients’ names are not referenced by clinicians as part of the dictation process, nor does data relating to patients’ addresses, appointments or any information relating to healthcare professionals leave the hospital’s systems.”
Scribe Tech is used for the same purpose by hospitals and medical outlets all over the world.