Today, there are many security measures within small, medium and large facilities. There are secure rooms, passwords, access codes and other things to keep records safe. If these security measures are not in place, then the medical facility could be at risk for letting confidential information get to the wrong people. There are differences and similarities in ways each medical facility handles their medical records. Small, medium, and large facilities seem to use similar security measures within an electronic record filing system. Most facilities use passwords, usernames, and access codes.
With this said, only certain staff members have these access codes. Sometimes, one person has these access codes depending on how big the facility is. Sometimes files are only kept in a filing cabinet that is locked, along with the building locked when no one is there. Many small facilities seem to still use paper records. Paper records can have their positives and negatives. Small facilities do not have many doctors which in this case they know many of their patients on a personal level. This is a good aspect, especially for looking up records.
Many small facilities keep their records in a secured room that is locked. Some facilities use only one person with one key, and others have access codes to get into the secured room. Depending on the facility and how many patient records there are, they all follow certain rules in their facility. Some facilities follow color coded record filing, numeric filing, and alphabetical filing. Some facilities keep their record in one place, other facilities have 2. If it is paper filing and they have 2 secure rooms, usually one room is for current patients and the other room is for old patient record.
Records are kept from eight to ten year, depending on facilities regulations, and then destroyed of properly according to privacy information (Robinson, 2010). With smaller facilities, this may happen more often than a larger facility, most likely because they use the paper filing system. With medium to large facilities, these facilities seem to use the electronic filing system. Although some medium and large facilities still use paper filing, more medium and large facilities have and are converting to electronic filing. The electronic filing systems seem to be more convenient for larger facilities.
The hassle of so many patient records in paper form can be huge responsibility. This is why electronic filing is so much easier. The less hassle for records management, the less stress. Many larger facilities agree that electronic filing is much easier and can help control the records management. The storage for electronic filing is much easier too. The only downside with electronic filing is the unknown system downs for restoring or upgrading system requirements (Robinson, 2010). Sometimes when the system goes down, they may have to write down records until systems are up and running.
Each facility follows a strict policy in the scenario. Large facilities handle more patient records than a small and medium facility. There are not many facilities that still have paper records management. If security procedures are not followed correctly then there can be major problems. Mix up’s of patient records are at stake, patient confidentiality could be at stake. All facilities follow procedures to ensure patient privacy. In certain cases that a file may be lost or stolen, there are rules regulations and consequences on behalf of the facility. This is why it is so important for security measure to be met.
It is the law that all confidential information is secured and locked, whether it is in a room or a filing cabinet. If a fire were to happen, patient records could be damaged, this is why it is equally important to have a sprinkler system set up in the case of a fire (Green & Bowie, 2005). No matter if the facility is small medium or large, each medical facility follows security Measure’s to ensure record confidentiality and keeping records safe. The follow specific guidelines and if these guidelines are not followed, serious consequences can come to the facility and the staff members.
If it is a single staff member that is not following guidelines, this staff member can be written up and/or subject to termination from their job/career. To ensure this does not happen, many facilities offer training and most need a degree in having a job like this. References Robinson, S. (2010, November 7). Interview Data Thread: Group C . Message posted to http://University of Phoenix class forum, HCR/210 Patient Records: Keeping it Real course website. Green, M. A. , & Bowie, M. J. (2005). Essentials pf Health Information Management: Principles and Practices. Clifton Park , NY: Thomson Felmar Learning.