Is your patient medical data secure? This is a question doctors and other stakeholders must address as health records increasingly move online and patients embrace digital medical records, health-management apps and other electronic data tools.
While digital medical records boast many advantages — for instance, they’re a breeze to manage — the flip side is, they are also vulnerable to hackers and identity thieves.
Ironically, electronic medical data’s explosive growth (everything from genetic testing to wearable technologies that measure, transmit and assess health information) and the number of organizations possessing this data make it increasingly challenging to fully secure this information.
But before one gets overly worried about your health information being traded on the open market, bear in mind that in its former (and still current) paper format, this information was readily accessible by anyone who could access the paper. At least in the digital format, there is typically a password that must be entered at some point for access.
The increased desire by patients to have a say in their healthcare management has certainly fueled the concern about healthcare data security.
Largely because of the Internet, patients are much better informed about their health and therefore expect to participate in decisions affecting their healthcare and that of their family.
Along those lines, the London, Ont.-based International Centre for Health Innovation at the Ivey School of Business at Western University has issued a report calling for a radical rethink of Canada’s health-services industry.
Calling for the health sector to learn from the financial services industry, which offers personalized services customized to people’s needs, the centre laid out a blueprint to modernize and personalize healthcare in Canada.
The report points to increasing evidence that individuals are ready to manage their own health and wellness and are actively seeking out strategies and tools to change the way they access health services. Fear of security breaches has not stopped financial services from embracing technology, and nor should healthcare where the benefits outweigh the costs by a huge margin.
To that end, the Centre outlines several steps for healthcare providers to accelerate the “personalization” of systems, while not taking security issues lightly.
Among those steps: “Join the 21st Century and get digitally connected”… a clear message of not letting fear stop us from moving forward and reaping the benefits of a digitally connected healthcare system
Just make sure that when you do get digitally connected, you use a reputable company that will protect the integrity, safety and security of your patient electronic data.
Since 1997, RSRS has been Canada’s leading specialist in safe, secure medical-record storage. All RSRS employees must comply with our 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 trained with respect to privacy and confidentiality.
Call us today at 1-888-563-3732 or send RSRS an email.