GDPR For Dentists - Marketing Your Practice
There has been a lot of panic over the last few weeks about GDPR for dentists. You will no doubt have been bombarded with emails asking you to "opt in" again in order for them to continue to communicate with you.
At Dental Marketing Expert, we have also been inundated with requests for information about the new GDPR regulations and how it affects you and your business.
I have done a great deal of research on the subject over the last few months and whilst GDPR is the biggest shake up of how data is managed, it is not anywhere as draconian as everyone seems to think.
GDPR for dentists and indeed the general public is bringing some common sense to the area of privacy and how data held about you is managed. This is not before time and should be welcomed by the vast majority of companies that hold data on you.
In this blog I'm not going to cover how your store your patients data in this article as (a) I am not an expert and (b) your practice management system supplier should be helping you with this.
We will instead concentrating on the marketing side of things and what it means for you when you communicate with your patients and prospective patients.
There are two areas of GDPR for dentists regarding communicating with customers/patients and prospective customers/patients, they are "consent" and "legitimate interest".
All the emails you have been receiving of late asking you to "opt-in" are about consent. If you ask someone to "opt-in" again and they don't you effectively can't contact them again.
The problem with this approach is that a large number of the emails you send people will never arrive. A large amount will go directly into their spam folder. Most of it will be ignored and by and large the only people who will reply to you will be those who don't want to hear from you again.
Taking this route is effectively commercial suicide and should be avoided.
"Legitimate Interest" is as it sounds. For instance if you have a list of patients it is reasonable for you to continue to communicate with them because they are your patients. Legitimate Interest is not only aimed at the recipient of the information but also the organisation sending the information out.
Equally if you have a contact form on your website that prospective patients fill in to contact you, it is in both yours and their legitimate interest for you to contact them.
So in conclusion regarding GDPR for dentists. Do you need to contact all your patients and prospective patients and ask for their permission to contact them? The answer is no. So long as the information you send people is proportionate, reasonable and is in both yours and their legitimate interest.
Here are some links you can follow for more information.
DMA – The Legal Basis for Legitimate Interests
DMA – The Legal Basis for Consent
ICO Guidance on consent
ICO Guidance on legitimate interest
If you would like more information about GDPR and how it affects you as a dentist. Or information on building your dental practice. Call me on 01767 626 398. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit my website at www.dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk.