While the federal government has instituted policies to try to help protect healthcare information and records, the swift move of facilities to digital storage means increased concerns over privacy. Are these digital systems vulnerable to cyber attacks?
It seems pretty likely considering many large companies have fell victims to attacks. This leaves your average person concerned that their private health information could land into the hands of a hacker. Before you get too stressed out, there are steps health care providers are taking to keep your information safe.
Systems Built With Security in Mind
One thing you have to keep in mind is that the IT systems for healthcare providers were built with security in mind. From the very start, these health IT systems were equipped with extreme security and care was taken to test them to the fullest extent. The creators of these systems understand patient concerns. They are also bound by law to protect information in any way possible. So, your health care provider isn’t using just a spreadsheet to house your information. It’s inside a very secure, custom-designed system. As MVU online explains, cyber security is changing, which means it is better able to protect you and your information than ever before.
Patients may also worry about the conversion process. What happens to paper records when they are converted to digital files? Can my files be lost? Rest assured that there are procedures in place to ensure your paper records aren’t just tossed out with the trash. They are carefully destroyed so that your information remains protected. In addition, those converting the files have been trained to ensure no information is left out or forgotten, so your complete file is transferred and all records are preserved.
Thanks to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, you have the right to access to your medical records. If you are concerned they could get lost or altered by hackers, then you have every right to request a copy of your records to keep in your own files. This can give you a peace of mind.
In addition, HIPAA guarantees that you will be notified if your records have been compromised in any way. This means if the system were to get hacked, you would be told right away. You would also be told how the situation is being handled.
These health care record storage systems are sure to keep evolving to meet the needs of providers and patients. Information systems will become more complex and even harder for any hacker to break into. It isn’t much of a long shot to believe they will become some of the most secure systems available because protecting patient information is that important. You can learn more here about the future of health IT.
While you may get a little nostalgic for the paper doctor files of the past, you have to accept that the whole industry is moving quickly to digital. This can be scary for some people, but the industry is on top of things. They have created very secure systems that aim to keep patient information completely secure.