Considerations when Uploading Patient Information to a Health System

Significance

HIPAA has strict requirements for the storage of patient health information. Virtual storage systems, such as electronic medical records, must be properly safeguarded and password-protected to reduce the risk of the patient information being accessed by unauthorized users. Be sure that patient information is only uploaded to systems that comply with HIPAA security standards.

Accuracy

When uploading patient information into a health system, be sure the information being loaded is accurate. If the information is being manually entered by staff, human error becomes a risk. Always double check the entry for accuracy, and ensure the information is loaded for the correct patient in the system. Some patients have the same name, so codes or dates of birth may need to be used to identify the correct patient.

Timeliness

Doctors use health systems to share information on the same patient. As such, data must be loaded promptly after a patient's medical appointment. This is important because the doctor may need to review patient information to make a referral to a specialist. If the information is not uploaded promptly, this will delay the patient's coordination of care, which can jeopardize her health. Patient information systems are designed to store medical information in a safe, reliable and secure way. With the inception of HIPAA, the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, medical personnel must be cautious about where and how patient information is stored.