HIPAA's Effect on Medical Records Storage

Medical Records Storage

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, also known as HIPAA, was put in place in 1996 as a way to secure medical records and the storage of these records.

As technology developed and was put in place, medical offices were forced to digitize their medical records and store them electronically.

Today, HIPAA continues to affect the management and storage of medical records, but in a different way than it used to. With the help of e-Docs USA, you can maintain HIPAA compliance and provide your patients with safe, secure digital access to their medical records.

HIPAA's Effect on Medical Records Storage

Types of Medical Records

Electronic medical records are stored in a centralized system and allow medical professionals to easily access, update, and review necessary medical history and data. There are three main types of healthcare records that are stored electronically—EHRs, EMRs, and PHRs.

● An EHR, also known as Electronic Health Record, is the electronic version of a patient’s health chart. The patient’s medical history, medications, diagnoses, immunization records, treatment options, lab results, and allergy information is all kept in this centralized database. This record is particularly useful as it can be shared with other physicians and specialists who may need the available information to properly treat you.
● An EMR, also known as an Electronic Medical Record, contains the same information as an EHR, but it is unable to be shared and typically is only stored by one physician.
● A PHR, also known as a personal health record, is an application that allows individuals to update and maintain their own medical records.

Requirements for Storage of Medical Records

Any office within the medical and health field is required to maintain a certain level of privacy and security for their patients and their records. Thanks to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule, you—as the patient—are granted rights over your personal medical information. As such, any storage of such information must meet a specific level of safety and privacy requirements.

One of these requirements is that medical information must be stored where there is controlled access. In order to achieve this, electronic medical records must be stored on a HIPAA-compliant database. This can include measures such as:
Access controls such as requiring passwords or PINs to access the information. e-Docs provides safe and secure document storage with VPN connectivity and multi-factor identification.
Encrypted data storage, meaning only people accessing the data through the proper channels are able to read it. With the help of e-Docs RecordsNET Vault, you can store medical records in a secure network complete with load balancing, encryption, and clustering.
Audit trails mean a record is kept of all the people who access or change your information, as well as when they did so. Part of e-Docs’ services includes the use of audit logs. Now, you can know exactly who, what, and when someone accessed a medical record.

EHR/EMR Management

In the USA, HIPAA requires medical records to be stored for six years beginning at the creation of the record or at the last use of the record. As you can imagine, storing over six years’ worth of medical records, and maintaining these records, can take up a lot of storage and time. As such, many medical professionals have a dedicated team of professionals who manage and maintain the security of their data. However, this can require a lot of money and training. Let the professionals at eDoc USA take care of it for you.

Managing and Storing Medical Records with eDoc USA

Since 1999, e-Docs USA has delivered document management and service solutions to medical professionals. Our state-of-the-art software, security, and cloud management. Our services maintain HIPAA compliance and are among the most secure in the industry. Ready to learn how we can help your business thrive? See our software in action by scheduling a free online demo today!


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