Privacy in mental health care. An interview with Iddo Post of Mind to Move.

A brief introduction

I am Iddo Post. I found my passion in mental health after a career in accounting and job placement within the financial sector. Everyone can experience unpleasant things in his or her life. From Mind to Move, we help these people who suffer from psychological symptoms as a result of traumatic events. It is very rewarding work to help people who are troubled by these destabilising psychological symptoms to regain a better balance from these symptoms.

Why is privacy important?

We have the data of vulnerable people. This data must stay in the right hands and be used for the right purposes. There is a reason that medical confidentiality exists. I also think that in this industry, many people subscribe to the importance of privacy.

What does privacy look like in your practice?

Implementing the rules in practice can be challenging. Keeping a register, possible data breaches and access requests have to be set up alongside your daily work anyway. In daily practice at Mind to Move, we use the usual systems as much as possible and try to deviate from them as little as possible. So the Electronic Patient Record for patient information. And we mail with secure solutions. The risks are mainly in the information flows that deviate from the usual or the use of new applications such as electronic signing. We still use Excel for the processing register. We do see that as our organisation continues to grow, that solution will no longer work well. Then a privacy management tool, such as Privacy Nexus, will become a requirement. So that we have even better visibility of our data processing operations.

What do you think of the people who say you have nothing to hide?

Especially in mental health care it is clear that people sometimes experience things that they do not want to be confronted with later. It is precisely at vulnerable moments that it becomes clear how important it is that not just everything is available to everyone. Especially if you can link all that information to other data points and build profiles from it or draw all kinds of unwarranted conclusions from it. We see that there is now discussion in the sector about the exchange of patient data with insurers. There too, of course, only the minimum necessary should be exchanged. 

How do you look to the future?

I do find it interesting what will happen with all the technological possibilities. On the one hand, the possibilities it offers to help people better. Look at EMDR therapy where technology also helps tremendously. And on the other hand, the risks that technology can bring, by characterising people or data that you lose control of because it is processed in other countries.