Daily, healthcare providers and medical practitioners put their best foot forward to ensure that their patients receive the best care possible. Because technology has made it possible for patients to access their Electronic Health Records (EHRs), procedures must be put in place to make sure that the sector of health IT is safer. The task of improving the safety of EHRs rests with all parties involved, including the patients themselves, the health care practitioners and software developers and EHR implementers.
What is health IT?
Health IT refers to all technological processes that are undertaken to store, analyze, and share information and data pertaining to one’s health. Health IT has played a significant role in improving patient care. Health IT has also been instrumental in improving the way doctors operate as they can utilize the data to share information about patient health with other providers, which will ultimately influence and improve the decisions and actions they take. Health IT includes:
- Personal health records
- Electronic health records
- All e-health tools including online communities.
Tips for making health IT safer
Educate and train the staff
As EHR use becomes more popular, it is critical for doctors to establish a security culture in the practice as the first step to enhancing safety. All practices should educate their staff about the importance of health IT on a regular basis because security should be one of the core values of any health care facility.
Update and maintain computers
By updating and maintaining computers well, the chances of a security breach are reduced significantly. To begin, any applications in the software that are not pertinent to the practice should be uninstalled. This means that photo sharing tools, instant messaging or games should all be deleted from the system. To make it safer, the computers should automatically update themselves each week to ensure that the software remains up to date and functional.
Use strong passwords
The passwords used should be strong to ensure that passersby are unable to breach it. The passwords should be intricate and should include a combination of different cased letters, symbols, and numbers. Obviously, the passwords should be easy enough for the staff to remember.
Download from trusted sources
Whether you are installing a heightened security system or an application that will improve how you access and use EHRs, doctors should only download content from trusted sources. Downloads are the easiest techniques that hackers use to gain access to private information. As such, practices should always be cautious when downloading from peer networks or from free software. If a practitioner is unsure about the safety of a file, they should contact the EHR implementation firm for guided instructions.
Physical access should be controlled always
By making sure that the physical access at the practice is controlled at all times, the risk of encountering a security breach is lowered. The computers or machines should be locked away in a secure location that can only be accessed with special tools. This will ensure that unwanted parties cannot access the EHRs easily.