The world continues to become reliant on digital solutions as it provides convenience and mobility. This applies to a wide range of fields which include health care, specifically health information systems. Now, a common concern arises: are your medical records secure enough?
Medical records: Traditional vs. Digital
A patient’s medical record contains treatment history, underlying conditions and possibly all the relevant medical information that can aid a physician’s decision making and diagnosis. Prior to the digital era, these documents were kept in papers, file folders and cabinets secured by locks and authorized personnel, which made it accessible to physicians only. Patients need to go back and forth to clinics to secure a copy of their records should they need them.
Security-wise, this type of data storage is unreliable as unauthorized access is not easily detected nor monitored once it has taken place.
In the digital world, electronic medical records (EMR) exist. This enables easy access for the record owners anytime they need it for personal or professional use. The advancement in information technology allows immediate tracing once a data breach has occurred in order for security measures to be implemented.
What is a data breach?
Data breach, as defined by Norton360, is a security incident in which information is accessed without authorization. This is an event prevalent not just in social media networks or bank accounts, but health care as well. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Journal has recorded a total of 3,054 healthcare data breaches between 2009 and 2019 with more than 500 records obtained.
That being said, safety and security is now a major concern for the end-users of the EMR interface. HIPAA has established rules and regulations, which adhere to privacy and security. This way, violations are accounted for and corresponding charges may be filed.
How are my records secured?
HIPAA compliant texting solutions is a system utilized by healthcare organizations. It is accompanied by a software installed in a computer or a mobile device, which allows users to browse and access their records safely.
What happens is, the user will log onto the HIPAA compliant texting app and will be connected to a private network where all data is encrypted. This way, the user will be able to access information, share images and videos, which can only be seen by authorized users. The entire structure of this system prevents each user to copy and paste data from one network to another.
Worry no more
To conclude, modernization allowed multiple information, such as medical records, to be easily retrieved anytime. This convenience, however, comes with a price: the data made available is susceptible to a breach. Contrary to this, it is also through the complexity of information technology that keeps the safety and confidentiality of your health records and there are also laws, which support data protection to keep your worries away when it comes to the safekeeping of your EMRs.