Top Methods for Storing and Sharing Electronic Patient Data

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Top Methods for Storing and Sharing Electronic Patient Data

An integral part of modern medicinal practice requires secure upkeep of patient information. And since the legislation of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was put into effect in the U.S. over two decades ago, the development of protective data technology has been made top priority in clinics and hospitals all over the nation.

Penalties for violating this act can range between $100 and $50,000, per patient record. As such, if proper care isn’t taken, it's very possible that physicians and other healthcare professionals could be slammed with the maximum $1,500,000 penalty.

The last decades have also seen a sharp increase in electronic data transmission, which means a greater chance for sensitive information to fall into the wrong hands. Given the ethical objections as well as the legal penalties of patient data leaks, it's extremely important for you as a medical practitioner to ensure that this does not occur. With just a few simple precautions, you can prevent these security breaches and keep your patients’ information safe from internet criminals.

Encrypted Text Messaging and Devices

Data encryption is an extremely effective means of keeping digital files secure, since it involves jumbling patient information into meaningless hunks of characters, which can only be deciphered by recipients who are granted authorization. Several programs exist for healthcare professionals to install on their personal and work-provided smartphones, ensuring that only senders and recipients have access to confidential patient data. Best of all, encryption programs are often free and easy to use.
Related articles

Secure Wireless Networks

Secure wireless networks are simply internet connections with end-to-end encryption, and they only differ from public WiFi networks in that they have limited user authorization. They’re able to keep out any potential security threats because they require secure login information that only doctors, nurses, and administrators have access to.

File-Sharing Platforms

Cloud storage platforms are one form of file-sharing that’s earned an unnecessarily bad rep. Dropbox, for example, is available for free or at low-cost, guaranteed to encrypt your data and keep it safe. These cloud-based file-sharing platforms often feature two-factor authentication as well, meaning that a phone call, text message, or email is sent to approved users' personal accounts as an additional layer of security. These measures have greatly improved cloud services over the last few years, and the technology only continues to improve.

Cloud Faxing

Traditional faxing is viewed as outdated in many industries, since it requires two pieces of equipment whose sole function is to transmit documents connected with landline phone connections. However, many clinics and hospitals still make use of fax machines for sharing patient data, potentially putting these individuals at risk. However, there are now cloud faxing services, which involves transmitting documents by scanning them with webcams or smartphones and sending them through programs designed specifically for this purpose. And of course, these programs are encrypted on both ends, meaning prying eyes are unable to view their contents.

Tamper-Resistant Prescriptions

While it is possible for criminals to modify or forge traditional paper prescriptions, tamper-resistant prescription pads and printer paper have made it an extremely difficult crime to commit. Doctors are required to hand-write prescriptions in ink. Whether they're handwritten or printed, criminals that attempt to erase the writing cause ink on the prescription paper to rub off, indicating that it was tampered with. This is one of the many defense mechanisms that make tamper-resistant prescription paper so effective in stopping fraud in its tracks.

By  Heather LomaxEmbed

Author Bio - Heather Lomax is a contributing writer and media relations specialist for Blaze Systems. She writes articles for a variety of medtech blogs, discussing solutions for optimizing healthcare data protection and clinical technology.


Post a Comment