It may not always be top-of-mind for physicians, but guaranteeing the security of their patients’ medical records is crucial.
The stakes are huge: physicians must safeguard patient privacy and ensure that their healthcare is never compromised by records that are accidentally destroyed (fire, flood, etc.) or go missing.
To properly secure and protect your records, follow these tips, courtesy of the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA):
- Store paper records in restricted-access areas or in locked cabinets with limited access.
- As electronic systems become more common, and the levels of healthcare providers increase and health networks proliferate, the chances of records going astray will increase dramatically.
- Accordingly, information stored electronically should only be made accessible to your patients’ circle of care, or for other reasons, only where legally authorized or with patients’ explicit consent. Therefore, it’s a good idea to add log-on security features such as user identification and passwords.
- Electronic records systems should also feature controls that restrict access based on the user’s role and responsibilities. A simple solution: install encryption technology on all computer systems and portable electronic devices (laptops, memory sticks, etc.) containing patient information.
Since 1997, RSRS has been Canada’s leading specialist in safe, secure medical-record storage. All RSRS employees must comply with security requirements that include signing a deed of confidentiality at time of hiring. In addition, all new staff, regardless of their position, must obtain a police clearance report prior to commencing employment. Employees are fully trained with respect to privacy and confidentiality.
Call RSRS today at 1-888-563-3732 or visit the RSRS Web site.
Here’s a province-by-province breakdown of medical-record security guidelines.