Because hospitals generally offer free admission into the building, you may have a few concerns about security for the patients and their information. However, recent improvements in physical and digital security make hospitals one of the most secure places for you and your personal details.
Advanced Alarm Systems and Time-delay Locks
Maintaining an open door policy for hospitals is important, considering that people usually walk through the door seeking help. However, criminals have a tendency of taking advantage of such vulnerabilities. The fire escape door is a common culprit for allowing wrongdoers to escape after causing harm to their target. In hospitals, advanced alarm systems and time-delayed locks ensure controlled entry and exit into the facilities.
Alarm systems enforce physical security and limit unauthorized entry or exit into hospitals, as well as within the hospital itself, as premature departure of patients from a hospital is a serious concern. Time-delayed locks also control the movement within the hospital, minimizing the risk of crime.
Access to secure medical facilities like wards and medical lockers require high-end security measures. Previously, employees would use pass cards to access such areas in the hospital. These cards work well but are slow and can easily be faked or stolen. Biometric authentication is an substantial improvement, ensuring that sensitive personal information isn’t viewed by the wrong eyes.
Digitized Medical Records
Electronic Health Records (EHR) have replaced physical medical record keeping. Tools like iPads and smartphones are used to enter records faster and conveniently. Previously, paper records were vulnerable to fire, physical theft, and could easily be misplaced. EHR ensures the security of patient records from these physical threats.
But EHR are vulnerable to a different threat, hackers and other cyber-attacks. Since sensitive data is entered on and accessed through digital devices, those devices must have top-notch cyber security to protect patients. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations demand encryption of medical records for all health facilities.
Encryption of Medical Records
Medical data is vulnerable in its digital form and requires encoding using special computer tools. Therefore, medical coding is becoming a mandatory course in nursing school. The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) is the current coding scheme used in medicine. ICD codes are being used to encrypt information recorded in reports for transmission between medical personals.
Hospitals are one of the pillars of a thriving, healthy society. And as technology advances, so will hospital security. If you would like to help build that security through a healthcare career, visit WGU.