Electronic recording of health is not hack proof
Many people do not realize the vulnerability of their medical records, even those stores in paper, according to Dr. Brian Wicks an orthopedist heading a medical practice in Washington state.
His practice, Doctors clinic, is currently making a transition from traditional paper files to electronic health records.
He believes that the high security standards and password confirmation makes the patient records much more secure from unauthorized access.
However Nigel Jones of the Cyber Security Knowledge Transfer Network in the UK believes that the electronic records are still not a 100% guarantee for security – as the UK, like the US, begins to convert its patient records to electronic data while building a new health service security system.
Jones reminds that data may still be leaked from the inside – intentionally or inadvertently, and the threat of outsiders hacking into machines containing records is still a real threat. Experts say that people should worry where the data is physically stored and how exactly it is stored.
Electronic health data being exposed
Due to this sudden surge in technological updates in the health service industry, many companies have released products and services to take advantage of this situation. One of them, Connectyx Technologies, is the distributor of the MedFlash Personal Health Record, which is bundle of software, a flash drive and emergency call center and online portal that is designed to manage information such as medical history, healthcare and insurance service information, and other personal details to provide ease of acces for themselves and other individuals such as caretakers.
MedFlash does not replace Electronic Medical Records (EMR) but rather compliments it.
While the EMR records patient updates during checkups and admittance, the MedFlash contains other pertinent information such as prescription medication information such as doses and expiration, specific instructions by the doctor, contact information, family medical history, schedule of appointments, and even wills, among others.
This database is synchronized with an online database in case the MedFlash flash drive is lost, so that data mat be retrieved.
Connectyx assures its users that the online portal is secure and complies to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and guarantees that medical information will not be accessible to unauthorized users.
The data in the MedFlash drive though, will be left unecrypted for easy access to emergency workers, relatives, caretakers and other people in an emergency event where the patient is unconscious.
MedFlash also synchronizes with two other free online health information management services: Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault.