The nation’s administration is focused on formulating new medical privacy rules after coming under sharp criticism for the current regulations that offer quite inadequate privacy protection. With the Internet explosion, personal privacy seems to have little value with many Americans finding out that their medical records are virtually public. This is indeed alarming and all entities handling sensitive medical records must surely exercise more caution and ensure total security to the records and the vital information contained in them.
How does privacy breach occur?
- When medical records are misplaced
- When laptops/mobile devices containing medical information are lost or stolen
- When medical data is indiscriminately posted on websites
- When healthcare staff that has access to medical records misuse the data
The privacy regulations implemented by the Department of Health and Human Services requires care providers and insurers to notify any breach of privacy to a patient if they considered that the breach was likely to cause financial, reputational or other harm to the patient. It is the best interest of the patients, as well as the providers and insurers to consider any kind of healthcare data disclosure as risky and take all measures to prevent such risks.
Medical records can be effectively safeguarded by adopting inflexible measures such as:
- Keeping the records in a totally safe location
- Strictly controlling the access to the information
- Implementing stringent security measures during file transfer
Health plans, physicians, lawyers and attorneys handling patients’ medical information need to be constantly aware that patients can be harmed by the disclosure of their medical records. When medical records are requested for medical record review, they need to be kept confidential and safe. If this is not possible in your current office, you can go for the services of a reliable and reputable medical review company that can take care of the entire review process. Dedicated to providing seamless medical review service, an HIPAA compliant firm will already have in place all the security measures needed to protect healthcare data.