Good article on social media and how it is affecting the patient doctor relationship. Please also review our Case Management Program
The article, Is Social Media Changing the Doctor-Patient Relationship?, states
“Results from two recent surveys reaffirm longstanding trends in the ways patients of different ages use social media and the internet to access health information and communicate with physicians. The surveys’ findings also illustrate the growing importance of social media in the doctor-patient relationship and underscore the communication challenges family physicians face while trying to meet the needs of a diverse patient base.”
HIPAA Headaches: What Happens When Patient Data is Compromised
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is legislation that outlines how health records must be protected and secured. However, in today’s technology advanced world, data breaches are occurring at an alarming rate and some of those breaches have compromised health records. Healthcare providers must understand how dangerous medical record breaches can be and what to do if they believe their data has been compromised.
Incidences of Medical Record Data Breaches
Over the past few years, 89 percent of healthcare organizations experienced a security breach. One reason hackers are particularly interested in health records is that they contain information that can lead to identity theft, such as social security numbers, home addresses and even the names of family members which are often used as security questions. It is expected that more than 25 million people will have their medical information stolen between 2015 and 2019. Breaches occur in many different ways. Some of the most common reasons for a breach in health records include:
Healthcare employee uses an unsecure cloud-based app to access protected health information
Excel spreadsheets with patient information copied and stolen
Missing backup disks from an unlocked storage facility
A weak password leads to a server breach
Doctors or administrators provide staff with usernames and passwords enabling an employee unauthorized access to data
The hacking of a server leading to the misappropriation of patient information
Healthcare Provider Responsibility Under HIPAA
All medical professionals, including doctors, nursing professionals, and technicians are required to safeguard patient records as much as possible. The 2009 stimulus act required that a breach that affects 500 or more patients must be reported to the Department of Health and Human Services as well as the media. One way that healthcare providers could provide added protection is to encrypt data, something that financial organizations have done for years, but something that healthcare providers have been slow to adopt. Other ways that medical records can be protected is by improved cloud storage and stricter password rules.
One thing that the government is looking into to stop the increase in medical record breaches is an increase in fines against healthcare providers when data is breached. In many cases, the breaches occur due to lax security at the healthcare location. More than 40 percent involved portable devices like laptops or USB hard drives while a large number of other breaches occurred due to easily-hacked passwords. Since the enactment of HIPAA, there were more than 22,000 complaints about violations of privacy in medical records but only one fine has been issued since 2003.
It is critical that healthcare providers take as many steps as possible to protect the records of the patients they care for and there are steps that can be taken to that end. Encryption, stronger password requirements and secure cloud storage are three of the best ways you can keep your patient’s health records safe. Hopefully, the above information will help you, as a professional, to better secure your patients’ data.
Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.
Good article for certified case managers regarding reducing heart failure readmissions.
The article, “Use of case management to reduce unplanned heart failure admissions” by Steve Ford states
“Case management that is initiated in hospital and led by specialist nurses may reduce unplanned hospital readmissions and length of hospital stay for adults with heart failure. Case management is specific, intensive one-to-one care that involves many components to do with planning, coordinating and reviewing the care of people with long-term conditions.”
Good article for certified case managers and those interested in alternative payment methods and how they shape healthcare IT
The article, “How these three alternate payment models are driving healthcare IT”, by Paddy Padmanabhan states
“To pursue the Triple Aim – improve the patient experience of care, improve the health of populations, and reduce the per capita cost of health care – the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has set a goal of tying 50% of Medicare fee-for-service payments to value through alternative payment models (APM) by 2018.”
Healthcare Marketing is Changing. Find out what the strongest emerging trends will be in 2013.
American Institute Health Care Professionals‘s insight:
Case managers will be become more involved with these marketing trends as the future progresses. It may be well advised to become acquainted with them now. If you are looking for a good case management program then please feel free to check out AIHCP. They have an online case management education that can lead to case management certification.