Medical records are created, used and stored under health providers’ Electronic Medical Records (EMR) or Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems. EMR and EHR systems help share up-to-date information about patients’ condition, treatment, test and prescription. EHR providers join a network to securely share your medical records with each other.
In 1996, Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), in order to offer safe protection for personal health information, including medical records. This law gave patients more control over their health information, set limits on the use and release of their medical records, and established a series of privacy standards for health care providers and claims penalties for those who do not follow EMR safety and EHR security standards.
HIPAA grants patients several key privacy rights over their EMR safety. Patients have the right to view their medical records and can request a copy of their file, which in most cases must be produced within 30 days. Further, patients have the right to know how their records are used and can insist providers to seek permission from them before disclosing their personal health information to third parties. In most cases, patients have to be notified if their files are leaked or stolen, but there are exemptions to these rules. If you think that your medical records may have been viewed or received by a person you don’t want, you should contact your health care provider.
EMR safety and privacy rules apply to all medical records stored on computer system. Note, however, there are exemptions to HIPAA, since life insurers, employers and some school districts are exempted from these laws.
EMR and EHR systems provide many benefits, including offering the potential to reduce costs and improve the quality of medical care. These systems are also expected to provide increased security over traditional paper records, since computerized records allow recording everyone who have access to patient’s information and creating an “audit trail” to track those who have accessed these records.
As with any computerized records, there are concerns about “hackers” stealing patient’s medical information from online systems. There are several measures doctors and hospitals can take to prevent this and are required to ensure the medical records and EMR safety is under HIPAA.
We at Emerald Health, LLC use data encryption to protect patient medical records. Data encryption technology protects EMR systems while they are stored and transferred, ensuring that only the intended recipients are able to view them.
Through the privacy standards laid out in HIPAA and the security techniques typically used on today’s computerized health networks, there are several measures in place to help protect the privacy of patient medical records. However, it is important that patients talk with their health care providers about the EMR confidentiality preferences.
For More information on the EMR implementation of Medical Records, do call us Toll Free 1-855-650-9906.