Privacy, security and protection are as important in the healthcare industry as patient care; therefore, a trusted electronic health record system is critical in protecting both the patient and medical facility. EHR software and system manufacturers are aware of how important secure healthcare information is and have made it a top priority.

In this day and age, security and cyber security breaches can be detrimental and costly. Despite laws and regulations, some healthcare facilities have experienced huge problems in this area. Multi-million dollar efforts are being spent on improving security across the health information technology (health IT) spectrum. Some of these initiatives and features that enhance security improvement are listed below.

Key Initiatives for Security Improvement

The year 2010 was a sensitive one in terms of electronic health records system improvements. Health IT has recognized the need and demand of security in medical and health related facilities, therefore improvements were established based on the following key initiatives. These initiatives have since become policy by most EHR software manufacturers and should be adhered to when purchasing such a system of operation.

• The complete securing of all computers and network systems that contain sensitive patient data and records.
• The protection of mobile applications and laptops for physicians, nurses, and medical professionals. The data and records should be secure, both in and out of the office.
• The ability to lock drive bays to prevent hard drives from being removed from the system.
• Strategically placing secure servers in safe locations that limit access and have strict limitations on the users who access the programs and computers. Entry and exit logs are documented.
• The ability to require high-level encryption algorithms through the establishment of secure software and access.

These are just some of the key initiates put into place in a strong effort to improve security across the board with a high-grade electronic health records system. Many other features can be uniquely designed to provide facility specific programs and features. Many medical facilities have faced their own safety issues that they want fully addressed and prevented when rolling out a new EHR system. These issues can be documented, fixed and prevented through a quality electronic health record system.

Tightening security in healthcare does not come without a price. These new strategies can be costly yet quite effective. Most medical facilities understand that HIPPA and the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) regulations must be adhered to. If they are not, costly fines and restrictions can be enforced. These mistakes can cost the facility even more money.

Costly security breaches can cause more than just financial problems, a healthcare facility’s reputation and ability to remain in operation may be affected. Security measures are being taken and EHR manufacturers are listening to the needs of physicians and their staff in an effort to make the system safe and secure. The integrity of both the patient and medical facility is being considered and great measures are being taken to prevent security breaches and even identity theft.