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Changes in RFID and Patient Information Security that Affect Your Health Care Business

Mar 31

Written by:
3/31/2013 10:12 PM  RssIcon

How Breaches Happen
Healthcare facilities are busy. There is a steady mix of healthcare professionals and patients. Patients also bring family and friends to appointments. Before long, it’s a big crowd of people that are going here and there and can be difficult to monitor. Computers are often on and left unmonitored, files can be left on desks to be grabbed by anyone and even standard patient check-in allows anyone access to information that is within earshot of the patient answering questions. There are many flaws in the current system that could use a different method of ensuring HIPAA compliance. RFID technology might be the saving grace for the healthcare industry. Here are a few ways that this technology can close the gaps in patient information security:

Computer Security
Computers are a much-needed and used tool in healthcare facilities today. Being able to keep track of appointments and procedures quickly is the key. There are times when the computer has to be left unattended. Even a brief period could signal a moment in time that another person, not authorized to access and view information, has the opportunity to do so. RFID technology makes it easy to ensure those logged onto a patient’s information are authorized. ID badge logging will make it impossible for anyone not authorized to view any private information. It can detect if the person leaves the computer and lock the information down from view. 

Electronic Files
Not having to deal with paper files saves time and increasing information security. There is no chance of leaving a file lying about where it can be looked at by anyone curious enough to open the folder. There’s not fun about having to tell a patient that you’ve “lost” their file. They will have to give all the pertinent information again and worry about who might have access to the lost folder. The care provider can pull the information up quickly and easily. Only those designated with patient information access privilege can see it. Anyone else is denied.

Self Patient Check-In
Everyone dreads having to undergo the standard patient check-in procedure. You are asked a million questions and it feels like everyone is hearing your personal business. It’s uncomfortable and not a great way to keep the patient’s information private. RFID technology allows the patient to both register and check-in using a keypad, or identification card swipe. It notifies the right personnel that the patient is there and they can be taken to private areas to discuss their healthcare needs. This eliminates the awkward loop in the system that currently has patients discussing their every detail to secretarial personnel. 

The Future of HIPAA
HIPAA regulations will only grow and violations become stiffer as time goes on. Technology is available that helps safeguard patient information and those that monitor the healthcare industry know this. There will be less and less forgiveness offered with even the barest of infractions. RFID technology is the easiest way to safeguard your facility and secure your patients private information. It provides worry-free information security results. 

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