Many people are troubled over threats to their medical records. Cyber criminals could steal your identity or bill their own prescriptions to your account. Your records could exist with a number of healthcare providers, insurance companies, and healthcare management companies. You’ve got to be concerned with how safe your medical information really is.
Electronic Health Records (EHR)
Over 80 percent of physicians use EHR systems. Modern systems store information in a cross-platform format so that it can be shared with other healthcare facilities and partners. This allows your caregiver to share your records with partners for faster diagnoses and better treatment or services. However, all of them are required to follow specific guidelines for keeping your information safe.
In 1996, the federal government created HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, to set forth EHR guidelines. Every state also has its own requirements, as well.
In 2009, HITECH (Health Information Technology Act) followed to specifically address EHR concerns. These laws force caregivers to observe high standards of digital security and provide you the right to view your own medical records. In some cases healthcare providers can be obligated to inform you and seek your permission every time your records are shared.
Importance of Communication
If you have certain preferences, be sure you discuss them with your doctor. In some cases, providers may also share you information without your permission if it applies to public health hazards such as a communicable disease, a police investigation, or oversight activities.
For example, social workers can have access. If you are looking for professional psychological help, you should ask for a trained professional with a master’s in social work online or in campus who will have the skills to coordinate government, healthcare, and personal requirements for the best outcome.
Your Personal Health Record
Many people have come to rely on PHR services provided by their healthcare network. This is your own copy of your records which you can access over the internet anytime you want. However, PHR solutions are not currently covered by HIPAA guidelines. Use of them over a personal device could expose your records in ways that your healthcare provider isn’t liable for.
If you want this option, be sure you understand what kind of protection is already in place and observe secure digital practices yourself.
Digital medical records provide a great convenience for monitoring your own healthcare information. While there are security measures that caregivers must follow, keep in mind that you have to use some discretion yourself.