All heathcare companies and employees know the importance of keeping medical information private and secure. When working with patients, privacy is of the upmost importance. The government has laws and regulations in place to ensure that medical information stays secure. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is one such law which prevents any files or other information collected during medical treatment from being shared with unauthorized individuals.
However, many doctor’s offices, hospitals, dentists, and other healthcare providers have an abundance of patient information on hand, and it can become difficult to manage. Paper files take up a lot of room and can easily be accessed by anyone who gains entry to the file area. Since the implementation of HITECH, professionals are switching to electronic storage of medical files to comply with new regulations and improve organization and security.
It is important when healthcare providers are choosing a document management software provider that they choose one which meets the standards and expectations of the law. Whichever program that the office or hospital chooses must be able to keep all the information stored in a way which is approved. The HITECH Act was created to help promote technology, boost the economy, and educate healthcare providers on how to store all of the information they collect in paperless files.
The HITECH Act
The HITECH Act refers to the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. This act was put in place in 2009 with the purpose of implementing the use of electronic health records. Another function of the act was to support technology within the United States, which was the goal of the American Recovery Act or ARA.
The ARA was also established in 2009 and was created to help stimulate the economy in the country. It was signed by the president with the goals of creating and saving millions of jobs, while also addressing major changes that could help the country grow in the 21st century.
Who Falls Under the Scope of This Law?
All types of healthcare organizations fall under the scope of the HITECH Act. This includes, but is not limited to, doctors, dentists, hospitals, mental health providers, and other professional or facilities that are responsible for upholding the regulations of HIPAA.
Physicians and hospitals have various obligations in regards to the requirements within the HITECH Act. However, they are offered incentives for the implementation into their offices. There are various stages involved with switching to electronic data storage, and all facilities will be expected to be completely digital when completed. In the event the healthcare provider has not switched over in time, there will be penalties imposed.
How Has the HITECH Law Changed Data Storage?
The HITECH law has changed the way that healthcare providers and facilities store their secure information for patients, because all providers must migrate their physical files into virtual ones. This changes the structure, workflow, and processes within healthcare environments. While the transition can be tedious, there are many benefits as a result of implementing these changes.
Of the many benefits, electronic storage provides for a more streamlined system in the healthcare industry, which all providers will use and be familiar with. It helps to organize and unify the healthcare industry as a whole. On the individual provider level, you can improve efficiency within your organization. For example, paper files can easily be misplaced or damaged, and if either of these things occurs, the probability of recovering the information is limited. When the files are stored electronically, the details are kept on record in the online environment. There is a reduced possibility that the details will be lost or damaged through carelessness, accident, or neglect.
eFileCabinet Can Help
eFileCabinet has the products and services available to assist in the storing of all health-related files. With the HIPAA and HITECH regulations in place, healthcare facilities must be able to prove that the files being stored under their care are safe and cannot be viewed by unauthorized individuals. The paperless office provided by eFileCabinet is compliant with all of these regulations.
In the event that an office is ever audited, or asked to produce files, they can easily locate and access the necessary information through the convenience of their organized electronic files in eFileCabinet. These electronic files improve the efficiency of the facility, and increase the productivity of the employees responsible for keeping track of documents.
eFileCabinet is well known and has built a reputation for providing reliable and secure document storage. You can try a free 15-minute demo of their services by visiting their website and learn how they can help your healthcare facility move to electronic storage seamlessly.