In 1996, Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This legislation sought to improve the efficiency of electronic health record systems while protecting patient’s rights by reducing instances of information fraud and abuse.
Medical privacy and confidentiality issues extend to the telehealth industry. Under HIPAA, telemedicine clinicians have the same responsibility to protect patients’ medical records and keep information regarding their treatments confidential. Electronic files, such as images or audio/video recordings, must be stored with the same precaution and care as paper documents.
Telemedicine networks require technical teams to run the systems, independent of medical staff. This presents privacy and security challenges by increasing the number of people with potential access to patient records. Also, electronic transmission of information is always susceptible to hackers and other breaches of security. The standards and guidelines defined by HIPAA must be strictly followed to ensure that patient privacy and confidentiality are maintained at all times.
Patients may be wary of video conferencing and the possibility of “unseen persons” viewing their examinations. Uncertainty regarding the reliability of the technology may also make some hesitant to use telemedicine. However, these concerns can be alleviated through legal, technical and administrative security measures and through proper patient education.
For the past decade, GlobalMed has safely and securely provided healthcare professionals with products that make medical technology more mobile and accessible to suit the needs of physicians, as well as their patients. Our products are made to comply with HIPAA and other federal security and privacy requirements.
Our telemedicine products utilize the latest technology, and are designed to meet the needs of independent practitioners, clinics and hospitals alike. To learn more about how our advanced medical technology products can help your practice, contact us today.