Electronic medical records are the digital version of paper patient records doctors used in the past. In addition to being more efficient and easier to access than paper, electronic medical records give you an extra level of privacy. The U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has specific requirements for the collection, maintenance and security of your electronic medical records, including:
1) Secure storage: Paper files take up a lot of space and they can be lost, damaged, mishandled or misplaced. Electronic records require minimum space and are held on secure servers in protected locations.
2) Control access: Only authorized medical personnel and healthcare providers are allowed access to your records. They must adhere to strict security measures such as user identifications, passwords and PINs, all of which may be periodically updated.
3) Data encryption: Encryption turns the data in your files into code that cannot be read without a secret key or password that decrypts it. Only authorized personnel have access to the encrypted information and its key.
4) Audit trail: Electronic records keep track of everyone who has accessed your private medical information. You can tell who made what changes and the dates they pulled up your medical records.
5) Workstation security: Another layer of privacy security occurs at individual computer terminals that are placed in strategic, private locations. These workstations cannot be used by unauthorized personnel.
6) Security training: HIPAA requires that all personnel accessing your electronic medical records be trained on medical privacy regulations and how to use the technology that guards them.
Electronic medical records don’t just protect your privacy; they can prevent medical errors that could save your life! If you’d like a career where what you do has that kind of impact, check out the Medical Billing & Coding Program at Career Quest Learning Centers. Give us a call today in Lansing at 877-481-4930 or in Jackson at 877-365-8144 to learn more.