Digital Medical Records: Myths about Health Data Sharing

Upload: June 12, 2014As a growing number of hospitals as well as small independent practices continue to make the shift from a tradition paper recordkeeping system to electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic health records (EHR), there is some confusion over what going digital entails.

Here Are the Top Three Myths about Electronic Health Records:

1) Making Data Available Online Is Enough

The Meaningful Use aspect of EHR Incentive Programs must be carefully followed in order to receive financial compensation and incentive payments while also complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations. Meaningful Use includes specific, strict requirements that must be met by a set date.

Simply adding an EHR or EMR portal to your practice's site isn't enough you need to make patients aware that they can view their medical records online, and encourage them to actually visit the patient portal on your site. Adding informative, easy to read patient education content to your practice's site also helps you meet Meaningful Use requirements.

2) Doctors Can't Exchange Emails with Patients

In the past, many doctors have balked at emailing medical records, health information or test results to patients out of fear that doing so would go against HIPAA regulations. However, HIPAA doesn't prohibit doctors from emailing private health information it does, however, require that health information remain safeguarded.

Unfortunately, regular email does not adequately safeguard sensitive medical information. That's where the Dr. Leonardo SecureForms option comes in. SecureForms allows you to communicate with current and potential patients using a Contact Form where online visitors and patients can provide their contact information and a message.

In accordance with HIPAA requirements, visitors will be able to indicate whether they prefer a traditional email as a response, or if secure communication is required. SecureForms contact uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption to send messages to your Dr. Leonardo Control Dashboard so that your email exchanges remain private and protected.

3) Ignoring Meaningful Use Won't Cost Me

You are probably already aware that EHR Incentive Programs offer thousands of dollars to medical providers and physicians. These incentive payments are intended to ease the transition from the traditional paper filing systems to digital recordkeeping that allows patients to access their health records online.

However, don't think that you'll only lose out on receiving the incentive payments if you don't transition to an EHR or EMR by the set deadlines. Not doing so will actually end up costing you. Not meeting Meaningful Use standards will result in a 1 percent reduction in the Medicare physician fee schedule amount for covered professional services every year, which would result in a yearly loss of up to $5,000 for the average practice.

Click here to find out more about making the change from a paper filing system to electronic records.

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