EHR and Patient Privacy

EHR and Patient PrivacyData security and patient privacy are major concerns in the medical community, and this is especially true as more healthcare providers are transitioning from traditional paper records to electronic health records (EHR). Today, concerns about data breaches seem to be in the news more than ever, giving the impression that electronic records pose a greater risk due to the ease of information transfer, but this is not true.

Medical professionals should rest easier knowing that certified EHR platforms like Care360 have safeguards built in to ensure that patient data is secure, and they meet or exceed the stringent privacy regulations mandated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

HIPAA Privacy Rule

The HIPAA Privacy Rule, also known asStandards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, establishes strict standards for protecting certain health data. The rule ensures that patients have the right to access their own medical information and to know how their medical records are being used, and it requires providers to ask for permission before disclosing patient records to others. Using an EHR makes managing the process of protecting, sharing and tracking access to patient records easier for providers.

In addition, using a cloud-based system like Care360 EHR means that a lost laptop or mobile device is useless to unauthorized handlers because there is no patient data stored on them. Unlike paper-based systems, patient information cannot “walk out of the office,” be copied, glanced at surreptitiously or shared with others without a record of the activity.

Impact of EHR on Patient Privacy

Healthcare providers can use an EHR to more easily control and monitor what patient information they disclose. There are a number of reasons patients might need providers to share specific information about their health record, but sometimes patients prefer for doctors not to disclose every detail of their personal history. With Care360, doctors and hospitals can simply choose which specific details need to be shared, while keeping other information private. By only sharing treatment information that is pertinent to the issue at hand, physicians can simplify their communications with other providers and contribute to a more efficient treatment process.

Security Features of Care360 EHR

Care360 includes a number of features that make it easy for physicians and other healthcare providers to improve continuity of care, while also ensuring security of patient medical records. HIPAA requirements for EHR that include password protection, automatic timeouts and limited office staff access provide greater patient privacy than can be achieved in paper-based systems.

Our auditing features allow providers to track which users in their organization have accessed patient information, ensuring that only users authorized by role are viewing sensitive records. Auditing features track actions that include system logins, patient records views, clinical messages sent, edits to patient records and information accessed via a third-party system.

The Direct Clinical Messaging feature, shown below, allows physicians, hospitals, pharmacies and other providers to share pertinent patient information in a secure, email-like format that meets HIPAA requirements for transmission of data.

Direct Clinical Messaging with Care360

In addition to sharing personal health information with providers, Care360 allows physicians to share information with their patients. Using a secure Personal Health Record solution, such as Microsoft’s HealthVault, allows providers to share information electronically with patients. It also  allows patients to collect and store their information from multiple providers in one secure place.

To learn more about how Care360 protects patient privacy, visit our website’s Secure Sharing page.


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