Data has never been more important than right now. Currently, everyone realizes how much damage a person or entity can do with your records. At the moment, it’s addresses and social media statues, but it’s only a matter of time before it reaches your medical records. After all, they contain everything from current phone numbers and living arrangements to the state of your health.
If the thought of illness is stressful, then so is the idea of keeping your data safe. Not knowing where to start can be tough, yet the good news is this post has a few pointers. Continue reading, stat!
Ask About IT Facilities
The last thing you do after going to the doctor’s or the hospital is to worry about their IT procedures. You’re too busy wondering if death is around the corner or if they’re going to release you tonight. Although your health and wellbeing aren’t on the same scale, it doesn’t mean asking about the establishment’s facilities shouldn’t be on the to-do list. Only the specialist IT services for healthcare with security in mind are worthy of keeping your data safe. Otherwise, a leak might happen and leave you vulnerable. Things to look out for are whether they change passwords regularly and if they follow HIPAA’s privacy rules.
Understand Your Duties
Sometimes, patients ask for medical records for purposes such as insurance. The company that’s going to okay an end of life policy wants to make sure you’re not sick before saying yes. As soon as they are in your hands, or on your computer, it’s down to you to keep them safe. That means opening them on a secure network where there are no backdoors to the server (wifi, email accounts, etc.). Treat them like you would your health.
You’re having a conversation when someone drops a bombshell and you think “how the hell did they know that about me?” The truth is you told them because you were too liberal with the information. Remember that loose lips sink ships. One of the trickiest transitions is to treat your data as if it’s a valuable asset. This means only telling friends and family the stuff they need to know and nothing else. It should also include speaking to doctors and nurses in private and not over-the-counter with dozens of other patients. The walls have ears so be careful not to tell them anything you want to stay a secret.
Speak With Your Doc
As you can tell, this is a joint effort between you and your practitioner, so it makes sense to compare notes. Talk to them about what they do to keep your files safe and how that makes you feel. Never be scared to offer advice or pointers either because it’s your data. Next, ask them what you can do to ensure your medical records stay private, whether that’s in the surgery/hospital or at home.
By following a few of these tips, you can prevent a breach from opening old wounds.