Keeping data secure is a concern for businesses in all industries, but securing electronic health records (EHR) presents a unique set of challenges. When you are part of an industry that combines constantly evolving technology with the need to safeguard personal health information, it is imperative to stay alert and informed.
There are challenges and concerns when it comes to keeping EHR safe. Below are the top 4 concerns and how you can address them.
One of the greatest security concerns is the possibility of a data breach. EHR is particularly vulnerable to data breaches because the information contained within could be used to commit identity theft.
A data breach occurs when an unauthorized user or hacker gains access to a company’s data. Breaches can also occur unintentionally when employees lose or misplace a mobile device or laptop containing electronic records, or when data is transmitted over an unsecured network.
To prevent data breaches from occurring there are a number of network security actions you can take:
- Implement procedures relating to the downloading and removal of EHR to reduce the risk of unprotected records being lost or stolen
- Use password-protected devices and tablets
- Encrypted information so data cannot be easily accessed
Unprotected health records, both physical and electronic, are at risk of being accessed by unauthorized personnel. Password protection will reduce the risk of suffering a HIPAA violation within your organization.
Electronic record systems will often track a list of who has accessed the information so you can review the history to see if any unauthorized person opened the file. Provide training to your employees to ensure they understand the importance of locking their computers when they step away and of protecting the passwords necessary to gain access.
Converting Paper Records to Electronic Records
When both paper and electronic records are available, you should not assume the files are identical. Information from the paper records could have been overlooked during the conversion process, or the paper record may no longer receive updates once the file has been transferred. Your provider should have provisions in place to ensure a smooth transfer of information during the transition period.
A server equipment outage could bring your operations to a grinding halt. It is essential to have a data backup and recovery plan in place in the event your storage system suffers a failure.
Utilizing cloud storage as a back-up can allow you to access your EHR during an equipment failure, while also offering protection against any potential natural disasters.
There are many steps you can take to protect the EHR you have been entrusted with. A network assessment can help identify potential issues before they become a problem.
Consider partnering with a trusted provider in EHR security to make sure you have the best security solution for your business.