Electronic medical records benefit doctors, patients, and other healthcare services if the system is well-equipped by healthcare organizations. But, there are security and privacy concerns regarding the EMR systems related to the details and information of the patients and the healthcare services.
Safeguarding the information stored in electronic medical records in various locations is vital. Therefore, organizations need to check their electrical medical record systems to ensure the safety of the customer details and other information in the system.
Weak cybersecurity and data loss have multiple consequences. So, it is essential to look at the electronic medical record system’s security features that help patients, customers, and other healthcare organizations.
Patient data privacy is not a minor issue. However, electronic medical record systems are efficient for customers. But after a data breach in 2015, patients think twice before sharing their data with electronic systems. And with the small and midscale companies not abiding by the rules and regulations to achieve their business goals, it becomes very challenging to maintain the security protocols for the electronic medical record systems. However, with the implementation of the ehr, which is almost the same as emr, but somewhat updated, the platform’s security has increased.
Top security measures of the electronic medical record systems
The most significant advantage of hiring an emr system for your organization is as follows.
HIPAA and HITECH compliance
HIPAA and HITECH offer regulatory guidelines for the security of the protected information within the system. While the emr medical systems are a good baseline, they need added electronic health record security protocols to satisfy the specific demands of your healthcare practice. Since the EMR security concerns differ for every organization, the vendors go beyond their baseline to improve the system’s security.
The audit trails are sheets or records that show when and where the system was accessed. It also records the action of the users when they access the electronic medical record systems. Since every patient and doctor’s data are logged into the system, the administration can review the data at regular intervals and see if any misconduct is happening within the platform. The electronic medical record systems can also be designed to send notifications to the patients when their session is over. This way, the patients can also report the breaches once they happen.
It is essential to audit and monitor the different activities that are taking place in the electronic medical record systems. This helps to detect any suspicious activity and protect the system from potential attacks, hacks, or data breaches. The monitoring of the electronic medical record system should be done in real time to prevent any potential threats. It is also essential to appoint a healthcare IT professional to monitor the system regularly.
- Data encryption
With cybersecurity cases rising, data encryption can go a long way in protecting the data stored in electronic medical records. With data encryption, only the allowed users can log in to the platform, and it also protects the data against data breaches. Electronic medical record systems can be designed in a way that can only be read and viewed by the allowed users. This makes transferring patient information like lab results and previous medical reports much simpler and more secure. Encryption also goes a long way in protecting lost data due to any damage.
Data encryption helps to protect the data from unauthorized access. This can be achieved through symmetric encryption, asymmetric encryption, and one-way hash algorithms. Various encryption standards are available such as Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and Rivest–Shamir–Adleman (RSA).
This feature seems obvious, but it goes a long way in requesting an alphanumeric password from the users to protect their accounts. Since the patient’s information is vital, every electronic medical record system should offer the following.
- The system should restrict the user if the incorrect password is entered more than five times.
- The password must contain a unique character, an alphanumeric, and a capital letter. This makes it difficult for hackers to guess the password.
- Passwords must be reset at regular intervals and is mandatory for every user.
- Security questions or a one-time password system to validate the users after entering the password.
- Enabling two-factor authentication as a secondary layer of security for the electronic medical record system.
The passwords for these systems leave a lot of opportunities for human errors. Even though they don’t like to admit this, patients make many mistakes and cannot remember their passwords. With all such things in mind, electronic medical record systems should be able to take responsibility for maintaining data privacy.
Data Backup and Recovery
The emr systems should have a backup plan in place. This helps to protect the records stored in the system from potential damage or loss of data due to different scenarios, such as fire, hardware failure, or ransomware attack. The backup system should run in the background to ensure all data is stored in an accessible database.
These are some of the essential security measures that must be considered while implementing and running an electronic medical record system. It is important to note that the security of an emr platform should be regularly updated and monitored to ensure that it remains secure and that the patient data is kept private. With these security measures, healthcare organizations can ensure that their patients’ data remains secure and safe.
Emr full form is electronic medical records. With the multiple benefits of the emr system in modern-day healthcare facilities, every health organization must equip the services of the emr system. However, since the number of cyber crimes is regularly increasing, it is also vital for organizations to look after the data privacy and security of patients’ and doctors’ information.
Apart from the baseline of the electronic medical record system, they must also integrate other functionalities that can improve the security of the system and make it better for customer usability and enhanced functioning. Therefore, hire the best electronic medical record system for your organization and enhance user engagement between patients and doctors.