5 Unique Challenges of Storing Medical Records
Just about every organization that renders healthcare in the United States has some sort of electronic data management system in place that stores patient records. The widespread adoption of electronic health records systems, or EHRs, is in no small part thanks to the federal government.
When the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act was passed in 2009, medical care providers received financial incentives to implement EHRs. They also learned that they could be penalized after 2015 if they failed to adopt the appropriate data storage technologies beforehand. By May, 2015, 87 percent of healthcare providers that offered Medicare and Medicaid services had been given a total of more than $430 billion to adopt EHRs under the HITECH Act.
Compliance with HIPAA
While that’s certainly great news, healthcare providers face some unique challenges when it comes to storing medical records, not the least of which is remaining in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Because sharing patient records is often required to treat a patient, it’s vital for data storage technology for the healthcare industry to have adequate security built in. Data breaches in the medical profession carry significantly higher penalties compared to other industries, making the need for sufficient security even greater.
Electronic data storage systems have certainly made the healthcare industry more efficient over the years. One reason for this increased efficiency is that healthcare providers can use mobile devices to update patient charts instead of doing so by hand. While this ability helps to reduce mistakes and saves time, it also means that a medical facility must have secure wireless Internet connectivity throughout and it must have the bandwidth to support every mobile device that’s used to access its data storage.
Being able to share patient information in-house is one thing, but having the ability to share information with third-parties, such as pharmacies and diagnosticians, located elsewhere is quite another. You have to make sure your data storage system is able to work with other systems and protocols in order to share necessary information safely, quickly and securely.
Clinical and Administrative System Integration
Data storage solutions for healthcare facilities don’t just have to integrate with external systems. They also have to work well in-house between departments. Your system must be set up so that medical codes match and treatment can be tracked accurately on both the analytical side and the administrative side.
Lack of Qualified Talent
As it is in other fields, the healthcare industry is grappling with a lack of qualified talent to implement and maintain their data storage systems. While finding qualified technical experts is a problem in many other industries, it’s even more challenging in the healthcare industry because people often need to have the requisite technical experience as well as a background in healthcare.
Complete Our Data Storage Checklist
If you’re in healthcare and you’re struggling to find a data storage solution for your organization, the experts at SANDirect can help. Working with our trusted data storage partners, we offer an array of data storage solutions that have the versatility, flexibility and security you need, such as cloud storage. Fill out our storage checklist now and let us find a viable data storage solution for your organization.