The times are always changing and that includes the way your doctor delivers care in their office on a daily basis. When the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was made into a law, it required that all patient records be stored in a digital format where they can be protected and easily retrieved. But with many doctors using cloud-based electronic health record (EHR) storage systems, patients are getting nervous about the security of their information. Patients need to understand the extreme security measures being taken by cloud storage providers and the ways that providers are securing the cloud itself.
Accessing The Information
According to HealthIT.gov, there are several requirements within HIPAA itself that help add several layers of security to EHR information. All digital files must be encrypted and protected with a unique password. One of the unique features to EHR systems is what is referred to as an audit trail. This is a comprehensive list of every person who has accessed a particular file, the day and time the file was accessed, and any changes that were made to the file. With these types of front end security measures, patients can rest easy knowing their information is safe.
Protecting Against Criminal Activity
According to the results of a survey that was done by Xerox and published at AMedNews.com, approximately 63 percent of patients felt that their information was more likely to be stolen in a digital format than if the records were paper. But the truth is that criminals will find ways to steal medical information regardless of the format the information is stored in.
Cloud-based storage offers something that paper files do not and that is the ability to track down someone who stole medical records and make that criminal pay for their actions. With paper files, it is nearly impossible to tell who took the records and find out what was done with them. But with a cloud-based EHR system, criminals can be tracked, the information can be corrected, and the criminal activity can be stopped.
Electronic Files Are A Better Option
According to InformationWeek.com, one of the key benefits of electronic medical records is the fact that they are stored in a place that can be accessed anywhere in the world. Since digital files are on the cloud, they cannot be destroyed by a flood, fire, or other natural disaster.
Cloud-based files are also easier for physicians to access, which means that the doctor treating a patient who gets injured while on vacation will have the same medical information that the primary physician has. Electronic files are not only safer, they allow medical professionals to deliver higher quality care.
Practice Suite is a cloud-based practice management system that offers full encryption and the processes necessary to meet all HIPAA requirements. Try Practice Suite’s online practice management software free for 30 days and see just how much of a difference a good cloud-based system can make to your practice and your patients.