Electronic health records help solve most of the problems associated with paper record keeping. Some of the benefits include standardising documents, minimising errors, and providing a long-term GDPR-compliant storage solution with easy retrieval.
Despite the improved patient care facilitated by electronic health records, however, many facility managers are hesitant to adopt this storage method. Here are some disadvantages to watch out for when using digital records storage:
1) Technical Glitches
Reliance on electronic health records can cripple a medical facility in case of a technical problem. Healthcare providers rely on a patient’s medical history to make an accurate diagnosis. Therefore, if the digital storage system malfunctions, it can limit a doctor’s ability to provide the best care. Besides, the attending physician will always have to ask the patient about their medical history instead of accessing the files from the cloud. If the malfunction lasts a few hours, it can lead to delays and errors.
Storing your medical records with Clarks Archival Storage gives you access to both digital and paper records. That means that, if there is a technical problem and you cannot access your files, you can request the archived records at CAS cloud. This option allows you to provide proper treatment even when you cannot access your electronic health records.
2) Lack of Interoperability
Interoperability is the ability to share patient information with other healthcare providers online without sending paper documents. It allows collaboration in improving treatment and efficiency in a health facility. Unfortunately, most electronic health records systems do not allow data sharing. While lack of data sharing can boost the security of the systems, it affects the availability of information for proper patient care.
When you use CAS, you do not have to worry about interoperability. Since all your digitised documents are in the cloud, you can share the records with your colleagues from a secure web-based system.
3) Vulnerable To Cyber-Attacks
The main disadvantage of electronic health records is exposure to ransomware and other data breaches. Cybercriminals can restrict access to the records and demand payment to restore access, and the NHS has unfortunately fallen victim to ransomware attacks in the past. While you will eventually successfully regain full system access after disarming the virus or paying the ransom, there is no guarantee that the criminal concerned did not copy patients’ records. Such security breaches can damage your facility's reputation and jeopardise the safety of your patients.
You can minimise cyber-attacks by increasing the layers of security and firewalls. CAS ensures only authorised personnel can access sensitive patient records from the cloud by providing log-in options. You can only share information from the cloud on a secure system. CAS will provide an audit trail to help you identify any data breach source by checking everyone who accessed the records before the hack.
4) Risk of Violating Privacy Laws
While digitising your health records is a prudent decision, you need to adhere to the privacy policies and data protection laws. If your employees misuse the medical records, you will be liable for the violations. Skipping security features during implementation may also lead to penalties. If you use CAS storage services, you do not have to worry about compliance issues. CAS ensures your documents and the storage system are compliant with the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018.
The disadvantages of electronic health record storage should not scare you. If you consult a reliable company like CAS, you will reap the benefits of digitised storage. Please get in touch today to discuss your options.
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