The world is steadily becoming more digitized as each year passes. Starting in the late 90s and continuing on to the present day many companies, organizations, agencies and businesses have been switching their records over from paper documents to a digital format. This new digital format saves millions of dollars in paper costs. It also helps to free up space in offices and rooms since it can be stored compactly.
These changes have taken place everywhere especially in the medical field. The vast majority of paperwork and files that are kept inside of a medical institution is primarily consist of patient records. These records contain a patient’s medical history and their personal information. Insurance, financial and credit card information can also be found in most patient records.
Most people might not be aware of this fact but hackers are increasingly attacking hospitals with the intention of stealing patient data. Once they retrieve this data they sell the information to third party sources who uses this information to buy medical equipment or drugs. They also file fraudulent claims with insurers.
Hackers are so skillful at stealing patient information that it takes many years before a person realizes that their information has been exploited. Healthcare security experts also point out that healthcare medical fraud is on the rise. In 2013 at least 40% of all medical organizations reported a breach in their data security. This number is up by 20% since 2009. The rise in the breach of medical information reveals that the need to secure patient data is more important than ever. The government also recognizes this need and has created guidelines that are to be used with sending and receiving patient data and it is also needed to secure patient records. The Government and HIPAA’s Guidelines on Patient Messaging In 1996 the Office for Civil Rights published the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)nof 1996 Privacy Rule Guidance was established for the medical field. This particular act sets forth guidelines that govern how medical professionals can access and exchange patient information using HIPPAA compliant text messaging.
This particular act is extremely important because it helps to secure patient information and records. When it comes to the use of technology and patient information certain key guidelines have been created by the HIPPA Act. They are listed as follows: Administrative and authorized personnel are the only ones that can exchange text messages or use of apps pertaining to a person’s health care. Patients must know how their private information will be used or when it is being used or exchanged by medical professionals. Patients are given the ability to correct their records.
Patients can file formal privacy complaints with how their information is being used. Healthcare providers must document privacy procedures to keep patient information safe and inform them of these guidelines. The key previous points that were outlined in the HIPPA Act in terms of technology establishes a set of protocols for transmitting and receiving patient information.