All your clients and patients trust you as a clinic to store and safely handle their most private and personal information. This includes restriction of access for all personnel, a secure database and being GDPR compliant.
As a prudent clinic you do not only want to make sure your clients have your trust, but also that the patient data is as secure as possible. Here are 5 ways you can easily improve the data security in your clinic.
1. Use strong passwords and change frequently
This sounds very straight forward and you have learned this since you started your first e-mail account. Yet one of the most common reasons for data being stolen, is the use of weak passwords. Follow these steps and you have made good progress so far:
- Use a long password, this does not necessarily be random letter but can also be a longer sentence
- Change a few characters with numbers “0-9” and a few capital letters
- Add one or more special characters for instance “#€%&/()?+*” and try to avoid the exclamation mark which is used 90% of the time
- Change password from time to time
- Last but not least, make sure you do not share this password if users can have their own logins. This will limit the risk of passwords (like old keys) being kept by old staff or spread
2. Respect user level restrictions
There is a big reason why there are different user levels in a EMR or a patient record system. However, very commonly most users are given administrative access, as this is seen as more convenient.
Administrator level can let unauthorized personnel to access sensitive data from all your patients, even the ones that they are not treating. Having the highest possible access can also inherit a risk of accidental manipulation of data, erasing records and changing settings.
In short, let only staff and specialists see and access the data they have authority to view.
3. Restrict patient data access
Building on the above point with keeping user levels, you should also restrict access to patient records. For every patient in your clinic, it might not be necessary for all staff or users to view every treatment. To keep good manners in patient access, only allow users that are treating the patient access to historical data and personal information.
4. Train your staff
All specialists in a clinic are not always IT sawy, so take the time to train the users in safe data handling. Not only will this continue to build trust with you clients but will also keep your database organized. Let you staff know what rules you have regarding patient records and what is expected of them.
5. Never store patient data, images and information on local devices
In today’s digital age, information can spread quickly and can be stored for lifetimes. This means that old images and information stored on your phone or a local computer can be accessed by others. If patient images would to leak out, this can cause great harm not only to your reputation, but also to your liability.
To avoid any misfortune of unauthorized spread of data, be sure to upload images and write patient records on a secure database. There are several great tools online to do this, and of course MERIDIQ is designed for just this. This is a small investment to do, and it also keeps all data in one place.