Hospital facilities have embraced the digital age. In some ways medical professionals have had to learn through regulation how to protect their patients privacy and confidentiality. In other instances, advancement in security system features have made hospitals even safer places for patients and staff.
The Government Regulates Privacy Practices
Even today, many of the patients that use the services of hospitals and doctors are are not aware that their personal information, medical histories, lab results, and even x-rays are stored digitally. Telecommunications, including anti-virus and secure database storage have come a long way in protecting patient confidentiality with the help of secure telecommunication advancements. In addition, many healthcare regulatory agencies have implemented rules regarding the digital storage of patient records. These regulations provide safeguards to ensure patient confidentiality on hospital computers and networks. They also provide for privacy in communication between medical professionals, hospitals and pharmacies.
RFID Protects Everyone
These days, mothers and newborns are still given the traditional, matching, numbered wristbands for identification purposes to be worn for the duration of their stay. However, the use of RFID (radio-frequency identification) ankle bracelets and door control security systems have added another layer of security. If an infant’s ankle band is removed without first being deactivated, alarms will sound and the entire labor and delivery ward is instantly locked down. Oftentimes, these are coupled with invisible barrier sensors located prior to ward entries and exits. If the bracelet passes any of these invisible barrier sensors, the doors will close carefully, but quickly and bolt tight. At that point, no one is allowed into or out of the ward until the infant is found. Furthermore, hospitals can protect their patients by giving employees RFID badges that allow them access to where they need to be while denying access to other restricted areas.
Security Camera System Memory is Growing
Obviously, the use of security cameras in hospitals is nothing new. Most often they are used to capture images of visitors as they enter and exit a facility. In addition to this, hospitals also have cameras installed to ensure that only authorized personnel are gaining access to restricted areas. The rise in digital storage capabilities has provided law enforcement officials the ability to to review footage up to 90 days after it is recorded. This grants hospital personnel the ability to review previous footage in the case of a patient complaint. This means that patients are offered more credibility in their complaints while also protecting the hospital’s staff from unwarranted claims.
Above all, the security of patient confidentiality and safety is paramount in the healthcare industry. Physicians, hospital regulations and pharmacies are on the forefront of new security technologies with the installation and use of keyless entry systems, RFID badging, and increased camera memory. Through regulation and invention, patients can be rest-assured that their information and personal safety are protected by those most interested in their well-being.