If you use a practice management system or electronic health records system, you know the many benefits they offer any healthcare practice. EHR software allows for greater efficiencies, ease of use, and increased accuracy for billing, coding, and more. But every practice should employ proper security measures to keep their patient records safe from hackers. Here are 5 tips for keeping your client’s medical records safe.
1. Choose a Strong Data Encryption System
Data encryption is one of the most important ways to deter cyber hackers. Encrypted data can only be interpreted with the use of a special key. Many practice management software products come with their own data encryption services, while others may require you to purchase a third-party encryption software. However you go about encrypting your data, make sure you don’t skip this vital step in keeping your patient records safe.
2. Create Secure Passwords
We hear a lot about creating secure passwords these days, and for good reason. Create a secure storage for your passwords and make sure to change them at least once a quarter. Do not use the same password for multiple logins, and use a combination of letters and numbers in uppercase and lowercase.
3. Prohibit Email Downloads
Hackers commonly use email to infiltrate computer systems by sending phishing scams and viruses through email downloads. Educate your employees on the dangers of email viruses, and prohibit email downloads altogether to play it safe. Anti-virus software can also keep your system safe from cyber hacking via email.
4. Compartmentalize Access
Not everyone at your clinic needs access to the same documents. For example, a nurse will be viewing different documents than an insurance company or pharmacy. Compartmentalize and restrict access so individuals only have access to the patient records they need to do their job. Access can be restricted via your EMR system settings and with the use of PIN codes and passwords.
5. Choose a User-Friendly Management System
Electronic medical record systems (including those that operate as parts of larger practice management systems) were invented to make patient records easier to access, store, and manage. If your EMR system has a big learning curve, employees may not be using it in the safest ways. Choose an EMR system that is simple and easy for employees to navigate. Intuitive software will increase the likelihood of keeping patient records safe.
Implementing These Tips
By following these five tips, you’ll be well on your way to a secure, safe practice management system. Be sure to take the time to learn about your options as you choose your data encryption system and EMR system. The effort it takes to educate yourself will be well worth the time, and you’ll rest easy knowing your patient information is protected from cyber hackers.