In order to ensure the privacy of patients’ medical records, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was put into effect in 1996 by the United States Congress. The enactment of HIPAA put in place security and privacy standards for the management of individual medical records.
Why It Is Important to Keep Patient Data Safe
Establishing HIPPA was essential to make sure there was a consistent standard across all medical offices when it came to securing sensitive data. But why is keeping sensitive data safe such a big issue? Well, privacy is important! The American people have the right to privacy, and that includes the private information of medical records.
That may be stating the obvious, but it gets lost at just how necessary protecting patients’ information is. No one wants their private data out there for the world to see, and medical practices most certainly want to be HIPPA complaint IT.
What Are the Best Ways to Protect Patient Data
As it was previously mentioned, HIPAA has specific standards for protecting private information. These rules are necessary to follow for medical teams/hospitals to follow. Below are some tidbits on the best methods to keep patient data safe:
Make Sure There Are Multiple Layers of Protection
In what has become a paperless world, hospitals and doctor offices need to have multiple layers of protection within their respective computer systems. These ‘layers’ could include various software that put up firewalls and protect from viruses, or just by inputting strong administrative passwords to keep access restricted to a minimum.
Installing a multi-layer security system makes it that much harder for anyone looking to obtain someone else’s medical information to actually access what they are seeking. Now, there could be a chance someone gets through one of the firewalls put up, but that still leaves the “hacker” with multiple levels to go through. And with constant monitoring of the system, it makes it that much easier for a hospital’s security team to catch anyone trying to access restricted information.
Learn From the Past
Learning from past mistakes is a great method to keep patient data safe. By reviewing cases of breached security over the past, hospitals can ensure they do not engage in the previous mistakes other medical offices may have participated in.
History is to learn from, and this is a great practice for any hospital looking to do the best job it can keeping private information private.
Continue to Use Best Practices
By continuing to use the best practices, there should be no issue keeping track of patients’ medical history. Consistent monitoring of these files, as well as making sure there are multiple layers of protection and learning from past mistakes, make it easier to maintain any type of record, not just medical information.