If you're reading this, you're probably an NHS patient wondering what accuRx is and why you've had a text from us. You have come to the right place.
We've collected common and important questions here. If there's something that you can't find, please get in touch with our support team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does accuRx software do?
accuRx builds software that makes it easier for healthcare staff to communicate with you and each other. It is only used to help provide patients like you with individual care.
You can read much more detail about us, our story and how we work on other sections of this website.
Why does accuRx need my information?
We need to access some of it to help provide patients and healthcare staff with our communication software, which is intended to make things easier for you all. When you or the staff involved in your care use our secure software, we receive information about you.
What information does accuRx use?
The information accuRx receive from you or from care providers (like NHS GPs) includes:
Your full name
Your Date of Birth
Correspondence between you and your healthcare professional and between healthcare professionals about you
Your NHS Number
Your mobile number
Your email address
Remember, we only get this information when we are doing something for the provider that we could not do without it.
For example, it would be impossible for a GP to use our messaging service to send you a text without them sharing your phone number. Or when you use the form on your GP's website, the information you share with them passes through our systems. We make sure that we only collect what is necessary to provide your care professionals with services on our platform, and store it safely.
How does accuRx keep the data secure?
We transmit and store data in encrypted form. This means nobody else can read it without the right credentials. When stored, your data is encrypted in an extremely secure UK-based Microsoft Azure data centre.
We meet the highest standards of safety and security, as set by NHS bodies and the government. We go through assurance processes for these and we regularly get outside independent experts to check our systems are secure. You can see a list of our security credentials in our Resource Centre.
What rules does accuRx follow?
We follow rules that are set out in our agreements and policies. These form binding commitments we make to you and providers about what data we access and how we keep it safe. These commitments comply with the key laws in this area - the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation - and the rules set out by the NHS on health care data sharing.
If you're already clued up on data protection and privacy, you can jump straight to reading the key documents in our Resource Centre. It's important that these agreements are thorough, but it makes them hard to understand and digest. We sum the important points up on this page.
We act as something called a Data Processor. This means we can only do things with patient data under instructions of data controllers. In this case, these are the organisations giving patients care, such as a GP practice, hospital or care home (providers). They are ultimately responsible for creating and storing information about patients and their health, such as in a patient record.
We only do what they tell us to with it. For example, we only look up your details to contact you if instructed to by a professional involved in your care. The responsibilities that we and providers have about sharing this information are laid out in what's called our 'Data Processing Agreement'. We have the same agreement with every organisation using accuRx.
Does accuRx's platform comply with the law and NHS rules about data?
Legally, your GP or Doctor is allowed to share this data on your behalf in order to provide you with individual care. This is also the legal basis for us being able to process it. You might look at the list of what we have access to and think, 'that's a lot of personal information', and there's no denying that that's true: it is. That's why we're honoured to be trusted by healthcare professionals and why we take keeping your data safe extremely seriously.
Does accuRx collect data for things other than delivering care?
Yes, on some occasions, such as for surveys about our product, or visitors to our website. These are separate purposes for information we might collect about individuals to delivering care. We keep the systems for collecting these strictly separate from the systems we use to help staff provide patients with individual care.
How can I access data about me and my care?
If you wish to see the information the NHS holds and controls about you, that is something your provider (e.g. your GP practice) should help you with. Ask them or visit their website for more information about how to do this. This will include the things they have instructed accuRx to do for them with your data (e.g. records of text messages sent using accuRx).
You have a legal right to access the data we store about you when you interact with us directly, such as when contacting our support desk. This is known as a 'Subject Access Request'. We are happy to help and you can contact us on email@example.com.
Who sees my data?
We have strict access requirements on who can use our software, to make sure the only people accessing your information are those providing you with care.
At accuRx, our employees may need to see patient data that we store for for strictly limited purposes. For example, this data may need to be accessed to investigate technical problems with our services. These occasions are very rare and only happen when absolutely necessary. Any access to patient information is time-limited and governed by our agreements with healthcare providers. Every single person undergoes training about what is appropriate in these circumstances. Data is deleted when investigations are complete.
What happens if someone at accuRx misbehaves?
We operate zero tolerance policies for misuse of data here at accuRx. It's part of everyone's employment contract here. If any one of us is found to have accessed part of your information without a valid reason, they would be sacked and the Information Commissioner's Office (the regulator) would be informed.
Why do the NHS need accuRx?
The NHS and the health and care professionals who look after you know best how to give you great care. They're the experts on that. We know it can be hard to communicate using modern technology in the NHS, and that's where we can help by providing the tools for them to do their jobs more easily (and lots of them think we're doing a good job). Ultimately, working together we think we can improve the nation's health.
Can I use the NHS National Data opt-out to stop accuRx receiving my data?
The NHS national data opt-out only applies to NHS organisations and sharing your information for research or planning. Because accuRx processes data for professionals who give you individual care, this opt-out does not apply to the data they share with us. We do not use that data for research.
Does accuRx sell my data?
No. We would never do anything like this. We are in the business of supporting your NHS staff to give you great care - that's what we want to be paid for.