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How Secure is Your EMR?


Posted on July 8, 2014

EMRThe healthcare industry has seen a number of advances in recent years aimed at improving the overall level of patient care. Once such improvement that is often overlooked is the advent of electronic medical records (EMRs). Those who question how electronic records can improve patient care may fail to realize the true value having access to real-time information. Your medical record contains all of your vital statistics, as well as a detailed history of your previous care. Instant access to that information allows providers to make faster decisions regarding your treatment while also providing a safeguard against medical errors.

Yet many worry that the switch from traditional hard copy records to digital files brings with it the added threat of unauthorized access. The proliferation of digital data storage in recent years has also led to a rise in cybercrime, with even some of the most advanced systems having been subject to online virtual predators. Those fears regarding online medical records may be well-founded, as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that there were over 21 million unauthorized record exposures from 2009 to 2012.

Provider Security

Yet one thing to remember when it comes to a hospital or healthcare organization maintaining an EMR is that these systems are only put in place after having been thoroughly scrutinized for potential security concerns. Providers understand the value of patient privacy, as it’s their reputations on the line if confidential patient information is exposed. Thus, these systems are often maintained by third party providers whose emphasis is in cyber security as opposed to healthcare. Those facilities that choose to maintain their own EMRs will still typically have a dedicated staff devoted to keeping patient information secure.

What You Can Do

Yet it’s till understandable that even with these added security measures in place, you still may have concerns about the security of your medical records. Luckily there are some steps that you can take to ensure the validity and safety of such records on your own:

  • Request online copies of your records through OrderMedicalRecords.com
  • Review your records thoroughly for errors and omissions and contact your doctor immediately with corrections
  • Specify a preferred method of communication between you and your provider
  • Maintain an updated list of those accessing your records and who has been granted access
  • Request that notifications be sent when your record is accessed

EMRs are truly changing the speed at which medicine is practiced. Yet that increased efficiency may mean little if the threat of unauthorized parties having access to you EMR comes with it. Thus, having your own EMR provided by us here at OrderMedicalRecords.com will help to ensure that all of the information included in your record is up-to-date and that access to that information is determined solely by you.

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