How Electronic Medical Records Improve Security

Posted by Scott Kimura on Mar 25, 2015 9:35:00 AM

photodune-1815036-computer-keyboard-and-stehtoskop-xs2Your patients' medical records must be protected. This, you already know. The best way to go about protecting them, however, can be a conundrum. The best way to keep your patients’ medical records safe is by going electronic. Let's take a look at why electronic medical records (EMRs) security is better than the alternative:                               


You get 24-hour security for your EMRs                               

It is difficult to protect anything for an extended period of time. The electronic medical records security solutions that are available, however, make this seem easy. Here are a few examples of ways that EMRs can be protected around the clock:

  • Data encryption
  • Password protection
  • Network firewalls
  • Virus protection
  • Instant security alerts
  • Remote document management


You can quickly act to protect EMRs if you feel as though they are compromised                               

If you think that even a single EMR is compromised or being targeted, you can quickly act by moving the document to another location in seconds with only a few clicks.                               


Even if data is stolen, you will still have it                               

Hackers are a persistent lot. They are so persistent that one of them could eventually stumble upon a coding loophole large enough for them to steal something. Fortunately, this does not spell doom for any of your patients’ medical records, because most hackers simply copy information when they are stealing it -- as opposed to taking the whole record, as one would do with physical record theft.                               


Nobody can simply disappear with an electronic medical record                               

If somebody breaks into your facilities and steals paper medical records, you will have to hope that there is a clear enough picture of who did it painted by grainy camera footage, possible witnesses and unlikely fingerprints. Due to their very nature, EMRs provide a clear pathway towards finding anybody who has accessed them. This is because every action someone takes on the web leaves a clearly identifiable digital fingerprint.                               

The government has even gone to great lengths to ensure that this is possible, no matter how skilled a digital data thief is. For example, virtual private network (VPN) hosts, which are digital solutions that create relatively discreet IP addresses, are commonly used by hackers to help them cover their tracks. The recent Copyright Modernization Act requires VPN hosts to retain a complete record of all of their users' activity logs for at least six months.                               


You can make your EMRs fireproof                               

Theft is not the only security concern that your EMRs will face. Sudden destruction due to fire, water damage, smoke damage or other hazards to physical documents can completely destroy your paper EMRs in seconds. With basic electronic medical records security, you can protect your medical records from ever being destroyed by sudden disasters. This is because you can protect them in seconds by taking the following three easy steps:

  1. Backing EMRs up on a physical hard drive
  2. Placing all EMR data backups into a small, fireproof, water resistant safe
  3. Using the cloud to protect your EMRs off-site


You can optimize your security budget                               

Despite all of these benefits, EMR security solutions are still significantly less expensive than those required to protect physical medical records. This lower cost enables you to beef up your medical records security, or even lower your medical records security budget -- and reinvest that money elsewhere -- to better match your current needs.                               


Do not wait until your medical records face an imminent security threat to protect them                               

The time to start protecting your medical records is right now. In addition to their many other benefits, EMRs provide the best foundation for long-term medical records security.




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