Electronic health records, or EHR, is an electronic copy of a patient’s medical history and information. As you can imagine, this type of data plays an essential role in providing comprehensive healthcare to a patient but contains their sensitive information. To keep an electronic record of this information can leave it susceptible to cyber-security threats.
Thus, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, has enacted security measures to keep digital records of health information just as safe as physical records. Let’s go over some EHR software security measures that are or should be in place to protect sensitive health information.
Your EHR system is acceptable to use if it is ONC-ATCB certified. In other words, the software is compliant with standards set and approved by the Office of the National Coordinator Authorized Testing and Certification Body. These standards examine the EHR software’s functionality, interoperability, and security. Multiple individual criteria must be met within those standards to meet government requirements for these record systems.
The EHR software should also keep a record of an audit trail. To make sure there aren’t any HIPAA violations or security breaches, an audit trail tracks actions taken on a patient’s information. Keeping a detailed record of who accessed or changed information lets us detect suspicious activity or correct any human errors. Implementing an audit trail provides transparency to the patient and care provider relationship and can hold someone accountable for any faults.
Data encryption adds a layer of protection to a patient’s information. Data from EHRs will inevitably be transferred between authorized parties. Encrypting the data mean it will be understood only by authorized programs to receive the information, or by anyone with the proper access code. Should this data be stolen, this minimizes the risk of any unauthorized party from viewing sensitive information.
Like many other applications these days, a simple password protection protocol provides a security safeguard to a patient’s information. There are many ways to implement password protection for the users. Some examples include lockouts for too many incorrect password attempts, a password complexity requirement, or multi-factor authentication.
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