The Too-Slow Evolution of Electronic Medical Records - Page 3
So it might be a while before patients and their caregivers can access all of their records with efficiency and security. If you are considering keeping and transferring your records in electronic form, here, according to the Los Angeles Times, is what you need to ask to ensure they’re secure:
- *Is the IT company managing the records legitimate? Find out from the practitioner or facility that recommended it whether they have a "business associate agreement" with the vendor. This is a contract required by the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which spells out when health-care providers may share protected health information with other people or companies. The details of how that information is secured are established in a business associate agreement. Such a contract signals that the company that stores your medical information is HIPAA-compliant and that your privacy is being protected.
- *Will your data will be stored in the United States? Will all information will be encrypted before being sent across the network? “Yes” is the only acceptable answer to both.
- *Is contact information available on the vendor’s website? If the company’s site does not include staff member names, a company address and telephone number, decline its services.
- *What happens if something goes wrong? If the company goes bankrupt or is acquired by another, what happens to your data and who owns it? If the contingency isn’t clear or treats your records like a tradable commodity, decline its services.