Many hospitals and private practices are choosing electronic health records software as a more convenient, efficient way to access patient information. EHR software or EMR software is extremely beneficial to any provider, but as a growing number of practices adopt this new technology, it’s vital to take safety precautions to keep medical records safe from hackers. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about cybersecurity and EHR software.
Access Control Tools
Passwords and PIN numbers are an important way to limit access to patient information. Only certain people need access to information, so employing strong passwords within your EHR software will ensure only the appropriate people see patient records. For example, you might create a PIN number for nurses to access their patients’ charts, and another PIN for insurance companies to access billing information.
Encryption is the act of coding health information so that it cannot be read or deciphered by anyone unless they have the authorized key. This is a vital part of any safe EHR software. Some EHR software has encryption within the system, while others may require a third-party data encryption tool. Encrypted data is a hurdle that makes it much harder for hackers to access patient data.
Ensure the safety of your electronic health records by making sure the EHR software you’re using is HIPPA compliant. HIPAA outlines three pillows for securing health information, including administrative, physical, and technical safeguards. A compliant software program will give you and your patients greater peace of mind regarding the safety of medical records.
Data Security Officers
Even once you’ve created secure passwords, limited access to records, and made sure your EHR system is HIPAA compliant, it’s important to continue practicing secure processes. Hire a data security officer to run ongoing compliance tests. A data security officer should also identify weaknesses in your security system and assess risk.
Audit trails are a way to track all the activity in your EHR system. Most EHR systems have a built-in, fully automated audit trail. These audit trails are vital to your cybersecurity, allowing you to see date and time stamps for all entries. Audit trails also allow you to see lists of when documents have been viewed and who has viewed them. These tools are important to tracing and stopping any suspicious activity at your practice. It’s important to note that audit trails do not prevent people from accessing information, but they could deter or help you catch potential cyber hackers.
Safeguarding Your EHR Software
Implementing electronic health records software offers countless benefits for your practice, including ease of sharing information and greater efficiency in the workplace. Make sure you educate yourself on proper safeguards for your EHR software to keep sensitive information private.