Data is one of the most valuable commodities, especially when it comes to shadier individuals. Your personal details may be worth plenty to the right buyer. The kind of records that most people forget about are the most dangerous. Medical records, which contain everything from your social security number to your name and address, are one of the most desirable targets for malicious individuals. That’s why it’s important to ensure that your medical details are safe. Here are five things your healthcare provider should be doing to keep your records safe.
Records Should be Stored Electronically
The easiest way for thieves to steal your data is by stealing it in a physical form. It takes only a moment for someone to reach over a distracted receptionist’s desk to steal a handful of medical records. Electronic storage prevents this while allowing your healthcare provider to have a significantly easier time accessing your medical records.
The Affordable Care Act requires that healthcare providers encrypt their digital records in a secure format. This makes it so data that is stolen should take hundreds of years to decrypt without the right details. Ensure that your healthcare provider encrypts your data and keeps decryption keys somewhere secure. Without both parts being secure, hackers may have a clear view of your information while you retain a false sense of security.
Medical data breaches total 42.5 percent of all breaches during 2012 to 2015. This means that millions of people have unwittingly been exposed. Secured access means that data must be kept off the same network that the provider uses. Access to it must be limited to only authorized eyes to ensure it stays safe.
Integration of New Security Measures
Security is something that requires a constant investment. New measures must be enacted while new forms of technology are implemented to keep data secure. Companies like Nueterra work with hospitals, doctors and other healthcare providers to ensure that new methods of securing data are implemented on a regular basis. They help draft security protocols into the way providers access health records, which in turn keeps them substantially safer.
Healthcare providers should be transparent with their customers with regards to how they keep their data secure. This means listing what type of encryption protocols they use, and how records are kept physically secure. Though these details do not have to be published publicly, patients that request these details should have them provided.
Your healthcare provider should have enacted the above measures for keeping your medical records secure. Anything less represents your details being put at an overwhelming risk for theft. The thing to understand about these measures is that these are just the basics. There are still plenty of other actions that any reliable healthcare provider can and should be doing to secure your information.