Thinking about data protection when designing health projects

The Jo Innovo [I Innovate] day took place on Friday 21 October. It was promoted and jointly organised by Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron and Roche Farma. This event is aimed at recognising the talent reflected in innovative projects in different categories such as patient-centred care, sustainability and social responsibility and organisation, quality and safety, among others.

Out of a total of 70 projects presented across all categories, this year’s winner was an application to humanise the use of venous catheters in paediatric patients, aimed at adolescents and preadolescents. The project was devised by Carme Ainara Donat, a nurse from the venous access nursing team, and submitted in the Patient and family-centred care category. The project focuses on reducing the stress caused by fitting catheters, using educational videos with applied knowledge.

One notable part of this event was the roundtable debate on the use of health data. Arantxa Casanovas, Head of Studies and Research at the Office of the Health Data Protection Officer at the TIC Salut Social Foundation, was one of the participants. The debate was moderated by Dr Josep Antoni Ramos-Quiroga, head of the Psychiatry Service at Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron. The other participants were Dr Yolima Cossio, director of Information Systems at Vall d’Hebron; Dr Jaume Sastre Garriga from the Neurology Service at Vall d’Hebron and the Multiple Sclerosis Centre of Catalonia (CEMCAT); and Dr Enric Barba, a telecommunications engineer and an expert in innovation and data. Ms Casanovas stressed the human factor in clinical information, reminding us that “behind the data there are people”. Technically and in the context of highlighting innovative projects and technology applied to health, she also stressed the importance of considering “data protection from the design stage of the various projects”. This is not a minor issue, as it allows efforts and resources to be optimised with regard to all legal issues in the field of data protection that are covered by the GDPR.

Finally, Arantxa Casanovas, offered her help to departments and units of health organisations affiliated with the DPO Office and thanked the leaders of the different projects presented on behalf of the entire Health DPO team for their effort and the work.

  • Arantxa Casanovas stressed the human factor in clinical information, reminding us that “behind the data there are people”