As regularly noted, patients are concerned about their medical records going digital.Â In a recent survey by the National Partnership for Women and Families, over half of respondents had trust reservations about their doctorâ€™s abilities to protect their ePHI.Â This is problematic for patient care.Â Doctors should actively attempt to increase patient trust in ePHI systems for several reasons:
- If a patient has reservations about their information being in the form of ePHI, then they might reserve crucial information.
- Developing rapport and trust with a patient will increase quality of care.
- Patient control over their own ePHI information will reduce errors and the cost of patient care.
Low patient trust is understandable.Â Large ePHI breaches are a regular occurrence, as shown by a cursory glance at the list of beaches with over 500 individuals involved.Â Even this summer, Oregon University Hospital had a breach for over 14,000 patients and Stanfordâ€™s School of medicine had a breach involving 2,500 patients.
Healthcare providers should take this reality in mind when communicating with patients.Â First, they regularly perform HIPAA Risk Assessments, ensuring that no risk to their patientsâ€™ ePHI goes undetected.Â Once they are certain about their security methods, EMRSoap recommends clearly communicating the realities of ePHI security and how your practice has implemented best-practice security methods.Â Additionally, explaining the benefits of EMR systems and how electronic records improve quality of care will get patients on-board with your practiceâ€™s new systems.
Because ePHI systems, HIPAA compliancy, and ePHI security are complex topics, EMRSoap recommends using several contact points with patients to reinforce the ideas your practice needs to communicate.Â An in-person discussion during a visit, a pamphlet in the waiting room, an email blast, and a phone call could all be used in order to reinforce the message about
If your practice needs assistance in improving their HIPAA compliancy, or needs help implementing specific Health IT specifications, EMRSoap can help.Â Our consultants are well versed in HIPAA and HITECH, and our engineers have combined network security experience exceeding 30 years.Â EMRSoap specializes in clearly communicating the complexities of HIPAA while moving practices to compliancy.