Keep Electronic Patient Records from Falling into the Wrong Hands

Moved by national legislation and health care’s rapid tech adoption, patient medical records are making the jump from physical filing cabinets to digital folders. Electronic medical records (EMR) make a big difference to hospitals and patients alike, cutting costs, improving accuracy and promoting better coordinated care.

However, one detail—just how easy it is to access these electronic records—has jeopardized the security of private medical information for millions of patients.

In 2012, a survey found 27 percent of hospitals had experienced a security breach within the past 12 months, up 8 percent from two years before. Sixty-nine percent of those who experienced a breach reported multiple incursions. The most common culprits? Not hackers, but employees.

Clinic safety protocols must therefore protect against both internal and external security violations. Put these measures into place to prevent patient record breaches, no matter the source.

  • Hire Trustworthy Employees: Employees who come in contact with sensitive patient information must be discrete and dependable in order to ensure safe data handling. When hiring, contact multiple employee references or conduct background checks to determine the most suitable candidates.
  • Train Well: Employees should be informed and able to properly perform security protocols and procedures.
  • Limit Access: Unauthorized employee access is the primary cause of data breaches. Restrict record permissions to only personnel who need it. Each user should have a unique ID and password to ensure accountability and deter negligence.
  • Reinforce Data: Back up data in case of system failure.
  • Prepare for the Worst: Have a response plan at the ready in case a breach occurs.
  • Get Protected: Be sure your policy covers you in case of data breach, like Society’s medical office and clinic coverage.

Getting these details right will make a big difference in ensuring the safety of your data and your patients’ trust. For more solutions, get in touch with one of our experienced risk control reps today.

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