While electronic medical records have been proven to have many benefits when it comes to patient care, doctors and small medical facilities that choose to take advantage of the software need to ensure that they take sufficient precautions when it comes to certain threats. For example, those without a full healthcare IT staff may need to ask their EMR software providers about ways they can successfully encrypt data so that it doesn't fall into the hands of thieves looking to exploit the information.
However, according to a new report by Reuters, data breaches may be easier for crooks to complete than previously thought. One privacy expert told lawmakers this week that a data breach could occur due to something as simple as a laptop or thumb drive theft.
"We know from the statistics on breaches that have occurred since the notification provisions went into effect in 2009 that the healthcare industry appears to be rarely encrypting data," Deven McGraw, of the Center for Democracy and Technology, said in written testimony, according to Reuters.
From these simple roots, criminals could secure information about a patient's date of birth or Social Security number, experts say. In response, some senators including Al Franken are saying that they plan to push for legislation that would ensure that data is safe and secure.
For now, doctors and small medical facility mangers may want to work with a provider of EMR software such as McKesson Practice choice or Lytec that can help with troubleshooting and security. By obtaining the help of a company that can also provide top-notch consultation, doctors could get the benefits of this type of medical records keeping without compromising the safety of their patients.