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Protecting Your Electronic Health Records

By Julie Davis
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Feb. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- An electronic health record, or EHR, is the digital version of the paper records documenting your health care. These online records are an advance in health management in many ways.

These records mean fewer and shorter forms to fill out at appointments. Your information gets to all of your providers so they can coordinate your care and prevent problems like harmful drugs interactions. You won't need to repeat tests for different doctors because they all have access to all of your results. And you can more easily access your records to better track your care.

Electronic health records can improve:

  • Your care and care coordination.
  • Your role in your care.
  • The accuracy of your diagnoses.
  • Health care costs.

But what about the safety of your records?

HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules were enacted to keep your health information secure, requiring health care providers and health plans to safeguard both paper and electronic records. Providers must assess the security of their EHR systems, follow technical safeguards, and have risk-management policies and procedures in place to evaluate, address and prevent risks.

They must also notify you and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of any breach, plus notify the media and the general public if the breach affects more than 500 people.

Portal security safeguards should include:

  • Instituting controls, including passwords.
  • Encrypting your information.
  • Doing audit trails to look for hackers.
  • Ensuring that computers that can access your health records can't be used by unauthorized people.

While there's still a learning curve for both patients and doctors, electronic records offer benefits now and in the future.

More information

HealthIT.gov details HIPAA (1996's Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations and how your information is protected on electronic health records.

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=730131

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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