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Security for EHRs

Wed, 08/28/2013 - 3:32pm
Steve Spatig, General Manager, Electronic Access Solutions, Southco

While the adoption of electronic health records helps healthcare facilities streamline data collection and retention, it also presents challenges when it comes to security. Traditional paper file storage in healthcare facilities is being replaced by computers and portable electronic devices that are often more exposed to threats. In many cases, records can now be accessed via a single computer or data port. To prevent unauthorized access, these computers must not only be secured via passwords and encryption, but physically secured to control access.

As more digital records are collected, securing this valuable, confidential information is critical to patient privacy and compliance with HIPAA and HITECH. Healthcare facilities face serious liability risks and hefty fines if they do not have appropriate physical security systems in place to protect this data. Healthcare IT managers can secure the information by providing the same level of physical access control used to secure buildings and rooms for the equipment that stores the computers containing confidential data, such as server racks and wall mounted charting stations. Compared to traditional lock and key mechanisms, electronic access solutions provide an extra level of security that can be integrated with an existing network for remote monitoring and control.

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