Technologies and Tools that Protect Confidential Patient Information

Technologies and Tools that Protect Confidential Patient Information

As the world goes into a digital overdrive in the past decade, so did many industries, including the health care sector. After all, if we address many health issues, it should start with automating responses, centralizing patient information, and digitalizing diagnoses, treatments, and medical histories. However, it is also completely understandable that many patients are uncomfortable with the idea of their records existing in a database somewhere. Although the law requires health care facilities to protect and safeguard this information, it is not enough to satisfy the concerns and issues raised by patients.

So, what can health care facilities do to better protect such information? How can they help instill confidence and trust in the system? How can they prove to their customers that this system works?

Server Checks

To better protect patient information, you have to do regular database health checkups in the SQL server. The server holds all the important information that can be retrieved from the database. It manages and stores information that’s critical to the business transaction and intelligence operations. To ensure the database’s safety and integrity, companies must regularly do server health checks and address issues before they blow up.

Access and Privacy Controls

Who has access to the data? Only specific people who need to use such data should have access to it. The key is to give them unique credentials that they will use when accessing patient information. This way, if there is ever a breach in the system, it is easy to detect who the culprit can be. Not everyone in the organization needs access to patient information.

Virtual Private Network

A virtual private network (VPN) relies on secure channels for communication. It encrypts its connections so that a device can process transactions and open data privately and securely. Hackers usually have a hard time getting into systems that use VPNs, although they are becoming more creative these days. It is important to remember that what’s illegal without a VPN is still illegal with a VPN. You still cannot download copyrighted materials, cyberstalk someone, and hack into other networks. The use of the VPN should be to safeguard patient information only.

Backup Data

man at work

How many times should experts underscore the importance of backing up data? Make several backups—on the cloud and in an actual hard drive. In the case of hacking and threats, organizations can make the quick and practical decision of wiping their systems and existing hard drives clean. The fact that the same data exists in a backup somewhere else will protect every organization’s needs in case of an attack.

Intrusion Detection System

Every system should be able to detect an intrusion and send a warning to the system managers. These computers are programmed to recognize specific commands and credentials. When something out of the ordinary happens, it should be able to send a warning and stop the intrusion by shutting down the system or moving data to a safer place. If there are sudden file changes and copying to external devices such as a USB stick, the system should follow protocols and not allow such intrusion without requiring additional passwords and credentials.

Disaster Recovery Controls

Then, what happens when someone in the organization accidentally deletes the data? The disaster recovery control would ensure continued access to data even if someone moved it to a much secure place. It allows access to the patient information for a specific time until new safe parameters are put in place again.

But above all these tools and technologies, the most important practice in safeguarding patient data is the training of the staff that handles such data. They need to attend seminars and workshops to understand the intricacies of these systems. They should also be knowledgeable of the different laws and regulations that cover patient privacy.

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