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How Good Is The Patient Data Security In Your Multi-Disciplinary Clinic Applications?

Posted by Sue Ellen McKelvey on November 3, 2017

 

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We are all constantly reminded, reading and seeing the need for patient data security; the concept is huge as measures need to ensure such critical information is not accessed.

 Personal health information (PHI) is priceless and increasingly this realm of ‘identity’ is the target of thieves and hijackers.  Your clinic server can be hacked, or vital health information accessed; often data is at its most vulnerable when being up and downloaded. We have concerns about data safety in unsecured portals or in electronic exchange such as email.

Of course, you already have policies in place securing patient clinical data from ‘internal clinic staff eyes’- but stop and check what is the set up around PHI in the clinic?

What can and can’t be seen by the different members of your clinical, front desk and administration staff? Some clinical notes that must be kept 100% closed to prying eyes. Have you secured all information around a patient’s mental health? Can you quantify in a report what PHI (data) is accessed by whom; across all staff working in your clinic?

Unfortunately, often the most common response is, “I’m not really sure...”. 

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2018 brings us a complex healthcare environment; your clinic can be vulnerable in the security of personal health information.

A clinic software solution is selected to serve and optimise your practice approach. Some areas to be resolved in modern health enterprise are more medicolegal and operational than clinical. Assess the software’s capacity to set-up ‘secured roles’ to ensure limited access to sensitive personal health information yet serve the style of practice you want. You may need to set up a team of disciplines working together and still address sensitive health information concerns. Can you enable a patient to choose a preferred provider or restrict another provider’s access to their records? Clinicians may want to nominate a management team by name and tailor their access to clinical notes.

 This is the future.

As Primary Health providers accelerate provision of multi-disciplinary health services to their patients and clients, the capacity to selectively secure patient data as to which provider and which approved staff member can access to view becomes critical.

In a patient’s healing program, clinical data is shared by many - nursing and support staff as well as several disciplines. The patient is in the middle of this ‘information sharing’; active and online. Can they just use an e-consent to share and have this automatically in their file?    

Ask about your interactive portal’s security. Any online access to your clinic may have ‘up and download’ security weaknesses; recognised as a potential ‘hole’ for hackers.

Visual Outcomes also operates in USA with their rising standard of health information protection. This year in Australia, clinic owners and clinicians are increasingly calling us with questions as to ‘new’ cybersecurity compliance and security alerts with tighter controls. Fortunately, there is a great association of medical software in Australia; and with bodies such as the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners(RACGP) you can use these resources to try to keep up to date. But in 2017, you are advised to also check yourself. Not just checking as to cybersecurity or PHI thieving – but how does your software support your clinical approach securely.  Primary health is now often a team approach of many providers with patients interacting. With this increasingly online; care management is vulnerable.

Time to gear up – sleep well with daily reports of ‘reproducible’ audits and PHI control.

 Many older software was built to serve a single modality; functionalities securing only a part-record or a ‘selected’ clinical note was not standard. Older software would have all clinical notes accessed or none. As we move into different forms of team based care, methods for ‘secured’ notes are best to also be versatile and reproducible; reportable auditable. A lack of security matrix in your set up may now impact treatment outcomes, compromise PHI security and dampen the benefits of patient interactions.

Visual Outcomes, is a purpose-built enterprise solution; designed for a multi-disciplinary clinic and/or many locations with differing set ups. Its purposes include: 

  • A shared managed health plan secured for external providers and the patient online
  • A flexible clinic set-up of the healthcare modalities your approach determines
  • A patient- centred focus; e-consents as a part of their participation in their care

These key design principles ensure that access to sensitive patient data is kept to authorised and authenticated users; all fully audited. The portal offers secure telehealth recordings. Online security features may give a carer /authorised user limited access; all fully audited.

Visual Outcomes is an integrated secure solution: many ‘on the ground’ clinical and administrative audited security roles and database hosting services; world standards of safety and encryption in highly secured storage facilities.

Offer assurances to all stakeholders of your enterprise as well as government regulators in 2018. You can have all expected standards in your clinic/s with a purpose-built enterprise software solution. Do it under your watch!

Topics: Enterprise Software Solution, Health Information Technology, Patient Engagement solutions, Patient Portal Software

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