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Keeping Medical Records Safe

Written by: on 25th September 2012 |
Keeping Medical Records Safe  | read this item

It used to be that medical records were kept in files, and whenever needed a medical professional look up your file to get an idea of your medical history. Today all medical files are electronic. Everything is typed into PACS that makes it easier to update and maintain. Filing is still used for printout copies of those files. Suppose something threatens the files’ confidentially. All data will be lost and in the hands of someone else. The violation of knowing someone has your personal information is unsettling. Who knows what they will do or how the files will be used to their advantage. Protecting medical records is too important not to ignore.

What you need to know about PACS
• Data is stored in PACS software program on the computer. If the computer is missing the files are missing as well. It’s best to backup files so the job of replacing them won’t be as hard. Another way is to add password protection and encryption to the files. This makes it harder for criminals to access. Keep up with passwords and know when a password has been changed. Dell computers on Dell.com/uk have computers with such parameters.

• Employees are culprits of stealing medical records. They are working from the inside so it is easy not to suspect them. While you think they are innocent employees are hard at work accessing PACS information to get free medical care in someone else’s name. Insurance fraud and medical identity theft is something else that comes into mind. It can be as simple as an accident or playing a prank. Only certain medical professionals have access to such information. Make boundaries and allow those employees to handle that information.

• The number of people and companies accessing PACS information should be limited. Like employees the people able to access the files can do damage to someone else just so they can get benefits. Make sure medical professionals have access to this information. Limit the number of medical professionals to have this information. This will narrow down the list of possible culprits should a breach happen. As always protect the files itself with passwords and encryption.

• Learn state and federal laws about medical record data breaches and the consequences that come from it. Know the company’s rights, employee rights and patients’ rights when it comes to their medical records and how to take action.

What to do if files are compromised
Companies can be careful as possible and still end up with a breach. You can’t read a person’s mind, distractions cause us to misplace things and hackers have nothing better to do than to crack passwords, firewalls and encryptions. At this point a company or a patient can file a fraud alert and look at the credit report for suspicious activity.

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