The HITECH Act states that physicians need to go paperless and implement an electronic health record (EHR) within the next few years. This is a great way to reduce medical errors; however, what about the security?

Everyone’s biggest fear about a paperless environment is the security. And you know what; security IS the biggest issue right now.

No one wants their health records compromised, and unfortunately in many cases they have been. One medical center compromised over 130,000 of its patients’ information when a FedEx shipper lost a bundle full of CDs containing UNENCRYPTED data.Yes this could happen, but did you expect there would be over 100 breaches in healthcare organizations in 2010? There have been 119 breaches since January 2010. This is more than the number of financial services breaches (only 39).

As you can see, it is not just hackers that are stealing information. The data can be compromised in other ways. The issue that needs to be resolved is the relaxed security environment of how and where the data is accessed and stored. Think about it, information is easily portable on a CD, laptop or flash drive. Not everyone out there is nice, and there are people on the inside who are seeking to profit from electronic medical records and other patient information.

It is evident that the data security must be beefed up for people to feel comfortable about electronic health records.