How to handle data breach in Health IT

Data breaches in health IT has become a very common phenomenon. According to latest survey reports released, nearly 94% healthcare organizations have faced this issue some time or the other in the last couple of years. With more information being fed into electronic systems over a period of time, it has become even more important to maintain the confidentiality of private patient data and with that, the prospect is becoming quite challenging as well. There are no cures for this as you cannot totally stop it. But you can take some steps which might provide some element of safety to your system which might make it difficult for people to access the information, proving to be a hindrance.

Preparing in advance

healthcare software development, develop electronic medical records, emr software developersKnowing it whenever that happens- It is very important to maintain regular check ups to ensure that whenever a breach happens it is duly noted. Notice the rate in which it is happening. Remember that it is important to know when it has happened; if initially it is ignored then later on, more serious breaches can take place and then it would become a blaming game as noticing as well as taking suitable precautions would have prevented it from happening.

Taking inventory of PII/PHI- Through proper inventory you get total accounting of each element of PII or personally identifiable information and PHI held by an organization in either electronic or paper format. Through this you will be able to determine the PHI that is collected, used, stored as well as disposed by an organization. Risk for breach of data is revealed by this so that PHI data can be strategically protected with best plan formulated for response according to real information.

Developing an IRP or Incident Response Plan- An effective as well as cost-efficient way of helping organization meet the requirements of HITECH and HIPAA is an IRP which helps in the development of guidelines that are related to incidents of security breaches. Roles are designated by IRP by providing guidelines for the actions as well as responsibilities of response teams.

Knowing the definition of incident and actual breach- Go through federal and state laws to find out which kinds of information can be disclosed to the affected patients or their relatives. This will help you determine which is just an incident and which is an actual breach. Learn about the balances so that you can balance it out.

Reviewing agreements as well as contracts with business associates- One of the growing causes of data breaches can be said to be business associates. The PHI of an organization is used as well as shared by healthcare providers along with the business associates. The contracts between the two parties define the usage. When the contracts are kept up-to-date, it helps maintain consistency of PHI management in healthcare ecosystem.

What to do after the incident has happened

We may take all precautions, but despite that breach has happened, so what to do after that? Read the following:

Determining how and who to notify- Determine these segments which will help in a quick as well as correct response. In case of minor information leak, the related patient may not have to be informed. But in case of a big incident, it is best to inform the relevant people.

Widen the response team- Employ an initial response team and engage the team’s various resources. The breach may need a wider set of people, including both external as well as internal resources.

Keep everything well-documented- Maintaining good documentation is a key to everything. The institution’s profile may need higher authorities getting involved, so it is better to prepare your ground well.

Security rift may result in a lot of harassment, harm, stress and frustration to the related parties. So it is essential for the health organizations to act tough and put their foot down when it comes to maintaining the privacy of their patient information. You can get in touch with healthcare software development companies to get your software developed.

There are companies which have the expertise to develop electronic medical records and other healthcare softwares. If you would like to hire emr software developers from such a company, we would be glad to assist you at Mindfire Solutions.


How to Overcome Digital Divide in Health IT Adoption

Like other industries, healthcare industry can also avail several benefits by adopting the latest information technologies. A constant increase is also noted in the number of primary care physicians who are adopting digital medical records. Most physicians, nowadays, use core health IT functions to write e-prescriptions, order lab tests electronically, and access clinical decision support and patients’ personal health information.

Develop Electronic Medical Records, Medical Software Development, hire healthcare software developersBut several reports have highlighted how the digital divide persists in the healthcare industry between the large and small physicians. Several top physicians have further urged the health IT vendors to eliminate the digital divide by providing standardized healthcare products and services. Each vendor must consider a number of measures to encourage adoption of electronic health records (EHT) and similar health IT solution by bridging the digital device.

Effective Measures to Overcome Digital Divide in Health IT Adoption

Optimize the Accessibility of the Patient Portals

The poor performance of the patient portals often creates digital device. Most physicians allow patients to use the portals only to view the information. But the patients lack the option to add or update the displayed information. However, several studies have highlighted that health IT adoption can be enhanced by through an aggressive marketing strategy for PHR enrollment. Along with making the patient portal accessible to more users, the strategy will further enable patients to keep their information up-to-date.

Concentrate on Non-Technology-Based Areas

The consumer adoption of EHRs can also be enhanced by concentrating on a number of non-technology-based factors including health literacy, computer competency and internet access. The lack of emphasis on these areas will make the health IT solutions accessible only to limited users. The physicians must explain the benefits of adopting HER to patients, and encourage them to use the system. At the same time, each patient also needs to learn how to search for his personal health information, add fresh information, and share the data.

Adopt Custom IT Solutions According to Specific Functions

Most clinics use comprehensive health IT solutions to perform several functions without investing in additional tools. These solutions make it easier for patients to access their health information, while reducing the clinic’s administrative expenses. But the systems create digital divide when patients switch from one physician or clinic to another. As the health IT systems used by individual clinics vary, the comprehensive system fails to meet the patient’s requirement. So organizations must adopt custom solutions for each function. The multiple applications will make their personal data easily accessible to patients.

Understand the Fundamental Rules for Developing Health IT Solutions

At present, there are not standard rules for building health IT solutions. But the health IT vendors must adhere to a number of common principles for online PHR development. The practice will result in making the system more accessible and interoperable, while providing enhanced data security and consumer control. As the users have option to access their personal health records through a common technology like the Internet, it will the standardization will make it easier for them to switch to the new medium. The use of a common technology to access information will further reduce the digital divide.

Constantly Monitor Consumers’ Behavior

The frequent changes in the behavior of consumers also affect the digital divide in health IT adoption. At the same time, the consumer behavior is also impacted due to health IT adoption. For instance, an individual can stay healthy by changing some of his regular behaviors like diet, exercise and tobacco consumption. The health IT vendors also need to explore ways to observe the behavior of a group of consumers by optimizing the system for a group setting or social network. The Internet-based PHRs can be further integrated with social networks to constantly track the changes in consumers’ behavior. Also, the integration will encourage more consumers to adopt health IT solutions.

In order to eliminate the digital divide in the health IT adoption, the Health IT vendors must share their best practices. The sharing of information will make it easier for different vendors to build health IT solution by adhering to certain standards and practices. You can get in touch with medical software development companies to get your software developed.

There are companies which have the expertise to develop electronic medical records and other healthcare softwares. If you would like to hire healthcare software developers from such a company, we would be glad to assist you at Mindfire Solutions.