How Health Information Technology Affects Patient Data Safety

A recent HIPAA Journal report says that around 58.8 healthcare data breaches (3.7 million records) happened in the United States per month from August 2020 until July 2021. 

The report shows that keeping patient data safe is challenging, especially when the technology requires storing and making data available electronically. 

While more convenient than traditional hard copies and paper trails, electronic storage and transmission expose medical records to other threats. The impact of technology on healthcare and patient data safety, however, outweighs these risks.

Read on and discover how health information technology affects patient data safety. 

Patient data collection, storage, and sharing are necessary for improving healthcare across the board. 

Medical data is an essential factor in fulfilling the mission of healthcare professionals (HCPs)  to deliver the most effective patient care and restore or maintain the health of patients. Gathering and storing health information from patients contribute to an evidence-based and evidence-guided diagnosis and treatment, including procedure management.

Private health information (PHI) includes medical history, treatment history, medication history, lifestyle and diet records, and biometric and vital statistics. 

Sharing this information between patients, HCPs, laboratories, and pharmacies helps improve healthcare quality and makes it more accessible. 

With an increasing demand for accurate medical information, and the important task of data management, healthcare systems turn to technology for support. 

Integrating technology impacts healthcare. 

Healthcare technology helps put the available health information and knowledge into practical use. It paves the way for advances in the healthcare industry, such as more accessible treatment, improved care and efficiency, disease control, and the interconnectivity of patient data. 

Medical practices collect patient data in various ways using technology. For example, simple inventions like the medical thermometer and more advanced radiology equipment, such as X-ray machines, and laboratory testing and analysis, have made clinical diagnosis easier and more precise. 

Remote monitoring tools and wearable gadgets made possible advanced diagnostics and easier management of chronic illnesses from a distance. The same telecommunication technology allows patients to visit a doctor in the comfort of their home. 

But one of the most significant advancements in applying knowledge into solutions is integrating information technology into healthcare practice management. 

Health information technology further improves patient outcomes and protects patient data.

Advancements in health information technology (HIT) have come in handy since 1999 when the Institute of Medicine (IOM) called for their development. They improve healthcare quality by optimizing resources, reducing human errors, and minimizing the impact of inefficiencies. 

The advent of HIT innovations has further improved patient data management, increasing positive patient outcomes even more. It continuously provides technical support for quicker decision-making but makes healthcare less erroneous and relatively safer.

It is the application of both medical science and information processing using computer hardware and software. The technology involves handling patient data, such as creating, gathering, accessing, and sharing. 

Electronic health records (EHRs) and electronic medical records (EMRs), for example, are significant innovations that streamline patient recording and sharing. Other HIT innovations include e-prescribing, patient portals, telemedicine, and remote patient monitoring.

HIT advancements, however, and the demands of a modern population require more straightforward, faster access to patient data and medical information. Healthcare systems also benefit from accessible and interconnected systems.

Meanwhile, patient data safety protects patient medical records from threats and prevents further damage from breaches resulting from procedures and communications in healthcare. Thus, HIT affects patient data safety because medical records are online, making patient data vulnerable to attacks and security breaches.

HIT’s downside of patient data safety potentially being compromised can only be turned around by the technology itself. The full potential of integrating information technology with healthcare lies in technologies’ ability to put up measures and protocols that ensure patient data safety.

Selecting the right technology is crucial in protecting patient data.

Health information technology presents advantages to improving healthcare quality, patient outcomes, and safety by increasing the efficiency and interconnectivity of patient data. Its integration into medical technology, however, poses threats to the security of patient data safety. And yet, the solution to this problem is embedded in technology itself.

While some available software is free and promises safety, Curogram guarantees the highest standards of the Health Insurance and Portability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Its HIPAA-compliant 2-way texting solutions, automated and personalized reminders, and telemedicine features, such as virtual visits, bring in the advantages of HIT without sacrificing patient data security. Curogram encrypts patient data from end to end. 

Curogram is a solution to protecting patient data safety while using health information technology that stands out from all other market options.

Interesting Related Article: “Five Challenges Facing the Healthcare Industry in 2021