Medical records are extremely personal documents, and nobody should have access to them aside from any healthcare professional involved in your care, and yourself if you wish to view them. Medical records are kept secure in many ways but with technology taking over, it can be difficult to keep them safe due to hackers and phishing scams. Here we look at how medical records should be kept secure and what to do if your medical records have been accessed without your consent.

How Are Medical Records Kept Secure?

Technology

Technology is taking over every business and paper records are soon to be a thing of the past. This shouldn’t be a daunting prospect. As long as healthcare companies take the necessary steps to keep their computer systems safe, your medical records will be kept secure and only accessible to those who are involved in your care. Actually, computerized records make it easier to provide healthcare in an emergency situation, where it may be difficult or impossible to gain details of the conditions or allergies of a patient. This also means that you don’t have to wait when being transferred to another hospital for your paper notes to follow. Allowing your notes to become electronic can be very beneficial.

Employee Conduct

Every employee within the healthcare industry, from nurses to admin support, will have in-depth training regarding confidentiality and keeping medical records secure. This involves keeping passwords safe and secure, locking computer desktops when leaving their station, and never leaving files open near other patients or visitors. Employees within healthcare have a legal and moral obligation to keep every patient’s information secure and failure to do this can result in the loss of their job, and even a lawsuit. If you notice any healthcare provider not following confidentiality regulations, be sure to question them and report them to management.

The Law

Keeping medical records secure isn’t just to keep patients safe. The law states that medical records must remain confidential under the “Medical Records Confidentiality Act” brought to law in 1995. You are able to access your own medical records through requesting and you have a right to do so. Unfortunately, there are times where record breaches still occur and this is more likely when retrieving medical records, especially when done so through businesses such as insurance companies. That is why many companies now work with medical retrieval companies to keep records secure.

Medical Record Breaches

Despite healthcare companies attempting to keep records safe, there are still medical record breaches each year. This is due to a number of reasons, including employee’s failing to follow conduct, technology failures and hacking attempts. Whilst electronic medical records can be great, the more they are shared or updated over the cloud, the more susceptible they can be to cyber-attacks. Many organizations are now much more aware of this and are doing all they can to keep your records safe. If your records have been breached, speak to a lawyer about the next steps to take.

Keeping medical records secure is the law and part of every healthcare employee’s job description. Organizations are more aware than ever of cyber attacks and are doing all they can to keep data safe.