In today’s modern world, people prefer to use technology for almost everything. When it comes to one’s healthcare information, there are so many platforms which store your medical records. The medical reports and past history are now available at our fingertips. Even when people go visit a hospital, the hospital has all of their patients’ data readily available on their computers.
There has been an evolution in the healthcare industry over the past years as hospitals are now using ‘data analytics’. Healthcare professionals can use the data of all patients to study the different types of diseases, their parameters, demography, and more. Although the maintenance of data in electronic devices has made it feasible for both doctors and patients, there’s still the risk of theft and hacking. Here’s an insight into why patient data privacy is important especially in the healthcare sector.
The Importance Of Maintaining The Doctor-Patient Relationship
The two most important things for maintaining a doctor-patient relationship are privacy and confidentiality. When a patient is comfortable with the doctor, the doctor can get to know precise details about the patient’s health conditions. Therefore, the doctor can provide the right kind of healthcare facilities after gathering accurate information from the patients.
In certain cases, the patient can feel that the information they provide to the doctors or larger organizations is going to be used against them. When they feel like the doctor or organization won’t maintain confidentiality concerning their personal details, they may refrain from providing you with the necessary details. In the worst-case scenario, the patient may even compromise on their own well-being instead of revealing necessary details to the doctor. So, to ensure the quality of care given to the patient, it’s important to maintain the doctor-patient relationship.
Ensuring Accuracy Of Data To Maintain Health Records
There’s no doubt about the fact that Electronic Health Records (EHR) come to aid during any emergency clinical events. Whether it’s the case history of a patient, a diagnosis, laboratory results, immunization records, or any other treatment details, everything can be stored in a digital format. And whether it’s with regards to a telemedicine consultation or a health record, patients need to know that you will maintain confidentiality.
One of the reasons for a breach of information in the healthcare realm is insurance companies. Doctors often share a patient’s health records with the patient’s insurance company. While the patient will need to sign a consent form to do so, there’s always a worry of mismanagement when their data leaves the hands of the doctor.
The sharing of precise and accurate data to doctors and hospitals certainly helps, which is why you need to assure your patients of their privacy. You need to remember that under the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and Medical Council of India’s Code of Ethics Regulations, your patient’s data is confidential. Whether you choose to do it over secure electronic channels, apps like ImmunifyMe that have end-to-end encrypted calls and SmartChips to store data, or another means altogether, you need to assure patient data privacy.
Giving Data Access To Patients For Better Health Outcomes
With the help of technology, hospitals can maintain a timely record of their patients. In emergencies when the patient may seek care, you can quickly look at their past records to analyze their health problems. The government of India came up with NDHM (National Digital Health Mission) to improve the quality of care provided to the patients. As per this mission, every diagnostic test, medical illness and prescription will be linked to a single health ID. That way, your patients can have access to all the details of their treatment.
There are several advantages of giving data access to patients regarding their illness and treatment. When your patient has the medical records easily accessible, they can become aware of the seriousness of their problem. It also enhances communication between you and the patient. As a doctor, you can get them more engaged in their healthcare and that will, in turn, have positive effects on their overall health.
Secure Data Privacy Can Help Prevent Identity Theft And Security Breaches
It’s important that hospitals and doctors take adequate security measures to protect the health information of their patients. In case a security breach leaks any of your patient’s sensitive information, it can cause them a lot of harm. The disclosure of such private data can make one lose a job, health insurance, or more. Your patient might experience social isolation or psychological harm if their privacy is invaded. Let’s not forget one of the worst problems which is the identity theft of your patients.
When doctors need to conduct research to find cures for certain illnesses and diseases, people may not be willing to volunteer. This is again because of the fear of their personal data getting known to the public. That’s why you should consider data security solutions like data encryption, anti-virus, system monitoring apps, etc. This helps the patients trust you more, improves your reputation, and also spares you the legal hassles that a privacy breach can bring.
Preserving The Basic Human Rights Of Your Patients Is Important
As a doctor, it is your duty to protect the basic human rights of your patients. The first step you need to take is training all the employees in your hospital or clinic. You must instruct them on how to take adequate measures regarding protecting the personal records of all patients. Other than medical records, you should also take measures to protect the financial information of your patients.
There are certain legislations that you need to abide by when it comes to collecting, storing, and transmitting the data of your patients. One such initiative by the government of India is DISHA (Digital Information Security in Healthcare Act). Under this act, the government has put forth certain guidelines as well as punishments for ‘a breach’ and ‘serious breach’ for healthcare authorities. If you’re responsible for any security breaches concerning your patient’s data, you will need to provide compensation to the patient. Without a doubt, legal safekeeping measures reinforce why patient data privacy is important.
Technology can help us to solve and simplify so many of our problems. Sadly, part of why patient data privacy is important is because hackers target soft copies. But, you can avoid this problem by taking the right security measures to maintain patient data and health records. Speaking of maintaining health records, you can save a lot of time by choosing to maintain digital records. Download the ImmunifyMe app, which has digitized records, end-to-end encryption for telemedicine, and more.
FAQs On Why Patient Data Privacy Is Important
Why Is Patient Data Confidentiality Important?
It’s important to maintain the confidentiality of your patient data as it can cause them personal or financial problems. Your patients can lose their jobs, face social isolation or psychological problems if their personal data gets leaked in public. Additionally, doctors are bound by law to ensure patient data privacy.
Why Is Medical Data Privacy Important?
You need to abide by the guidelines put forth under HIPAA to avoid any kind of security breaches concerning the medical records of your patients. Taking adequate security measures will save you from facing any lawsuits for problems related to security breaches and even cyber-attacks.
Why Is Patient Data Important?
Patient data helps you predict and diagnose their illness, and improve the quality of their healthcare. By referring to a patient’s medical health records, you can access their medical history. In some cases, health records also help predict illnesses related to the family.
Why Is It Important To Protect Patient Privacy And Confidentiality?
If you protect the privacy and confidentiality of your patients, you can get accurate information about their health problems. As doctors, you need to keep your patients’ information confidential as any data leakage can cause them serious harm. So as doctors, it’s your duty to keep your patients’ information confidential.