What Are The Three Rules of HIPAA?

the word rules spelled with scrabble tiles

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) lays out three rules for protecting patient health information, namely:

  • The Privacy Rule 
  • The Security Rule
  • The Breach Notification Rule

A national standard is established when these three rules are followed, and health information that could be used to identify a person is addressed by these standards and privacy procedures.

Failure to adhere to the three HIPAA rules, compliance obligations, and security policy–or any security breach of electronic information systems through unauthorized access to electronic health records, confidential health, and medical history, or electronically protected health information–can result in civil money penalties (and even criminal penalties), a loss of reputation for healthcare professionals due to intentional violations, and even the loss of employment for an employee.

Businesses can face fines of up to $1.5 million for failing to comply with the law and addressable implementation specifications. As a result, if you are one of the covered entities under HIPAA, you must follow the three HIPAA rules and security management processes, taking appropriate corrective action when necessary.

Why are the three rules necessary?

For Private Healthcare Information (PHI): there wasn’t much of a consensus on what the best practices for PHI should be. But things began to change after the introduction of HIPAA.

In the beginning, there were privacy and security rules. Protected health information (PHI) was the focus of HIPAA’s new standards, which applied to the entire healthcare industry.

In addition to this, HIPAA’s primary goal was to improve the patient experience. Covered entities were given a variety of policies and procedures to ensure that their clients’ information was protected without a lot of hassle. Reduced paperwork, in addition to improving workflow, is a benefit to the covered entity.

To meet HIPAA’s requirements, code sets must be used in conjunction with patient identifiers. Health insurance portability is aided as a result of this ease of information transfer. With the Portability and Accountability Act in mind, healthcare providers are attempting to make the patient’s experience more pleasant.

HIPA’s rules also serve some much more minor purposes. Life insurance loans may be exempt from tax deductions, depending on the circumstances. It also improves the efficiency of healthcare services and makes it easier for patients to interact with them.

Who needs to have HIPAA compliance?

Private hospitals, health insurance companies, medical discount providers, and other business associates are all included in the scope of HIPAA’s application.

This type of business is known as  “covered entities,” and must abide by the HIPAA regulations and security standards. Exceptions to the HIPAA rules for covered entities are extremely rare.

A company or organization that provides third-party health and human services to a covered entity must adhere to the HIPAA regulations. As “business associates,” these companies are subject to the same regulations as the covered entities, even though they do not provide direct services.

The business associate agreement must be signed by both business associates and covered entities. Before undergoing any procedures, the confidentiality and integrity of PHI must be preserved, and the business associate agreement does that.

The three main rules of HIPAA

As mentioned earlier in this article, HIPAA legislation is made up of a few rules that outline what you must do to comply with the law. We’ll now discuss them in detail below:

1. The HIPAA privacy rule

HIPAA defines the circumstances under which a person may disclose or use PHI. Everyone has a right to privacy, but as we all know, there are some situations in which the rule might be applied. Those who are covered by this policy must adhere to a set of rules.

The standards set by the privacy rule address subjects such as: 

  • Which organizations must follow the HIPAA standards
  • What is protected health information (PHI)
  • How organizations can share and use PHI
  • Permitted usage and disclosure of PHI
  • Patient’s rights over their health information

In 2003, the HIPAA Privacy Rule was first put into place. That includes healthcare providers, as well as clearinghouses, and other health insurance entities. Healthcare-related business partners joined the list in 2013.

For the most part, the rule on patient privacy restricts the extent to which medical records can be shared without explicit consent. Allows patients and their next of kin (representatives) to access their medical records under the HIPAA privacy rule These requests for access and disclosure must be responded to within 30 days of receipt by the Covered Entities. 

Healthcare entities covered by HIPAA include:

  • Health plans 
  • Health care clearinghouses 
  • Health care providers 

The privacy rule restricts the usage of health information, which could identify a person (PHI). Covered entities cannot use or disclose PHI unless:

  • It’s permitted under the privacy rule, or
  • The individual has authorized it in writing.

The privacy rule does not restrict de-identified health information. 

2. The HIPAA security rule

The HIPAA Security Rule sets out the minimum standards for protecting electronic health information (ePHI). To access that information in electronic format, even those who are technically capable of doing so would have to meet those standards.

The HIPAA security rule covers the following aspects:

  • The organizations that may need to follow the security rule and be deemed covered entities.
  • Safeguards, policies, and procedures that can be put in place to meet HIPAA compliance
  • Health care information that is under the protection of the security rule

To put it simply, anyone who is part of the BA or CE and can access, alter, create or transfer recorded ePHI will be required to follow these standards. These technical safeguards will involve NIST-standard encryption in case the information goes outside the firewall of the company. 

In addition to technical safeguards, the security rule will include several physical safeguards. If you’re in a public area, you won’t be able to see the screen because of a workstation layout. Only a specific area within the company’s network allows you to do this.

Administrative safeguards are also checked, and they are combined with the security rule and the privacy rule. A privacy officer and a security officer are required to conduct regular (an ongoing process) audits and risk analyses as part of these safeguards.

These evaluations are critical to the safety of the system. When considering possible threats to the PHI, they don’t care if it’s just a theory. Consequently, they plan to implement a risk management plan based on it to avoid any potential risks that could occur in the future. 

A covered entity must take the following steps to ensure the security of all ePHI they create, send, or receive:

  • Ensure the confidentiality integrity and availability of the PHI
  • Protect against improper uses and disclosures of data
  • Protect the ePHI against potential threats, safeguarding their medical records
  • Train employees so that they are aware of the compliance factors of the security rule
  • Adapt the policies and procedures to meet the updated security rule

Confidentiality, integrity, and availability rules in health care must be met by the covered entity.

3. The HIPAA breach notification rule

Occasionally, there may be a breach. The breach notification rule comes into play here. The Department of Health and Human Services must be informed as soon as possible if there has been a data breach. Regardless of the nature of the breach, this must be done within 60 days of its discovery, this is where a good risk management plan comes in handy.

If a breach during administrative actions involves a person‘s personal information, that person must be notified within 60 days of the discovery of the breach.

In the event of a large-scale breach that affects more than 500 patients in a specific jurisdiction, the media should be informed as well.

An immediate announcement of a privacy violation is required by the HIPAA rule for breach notification. The Office for Civil Rights may impose fines if you don’t comply.

Alternatively, the Covered Entity may decide not to send a breach notification if it can show that the critical element of the PHI has not been compromised. A violation of privacy and security rules would be warranted if they are found to have been compromised.

Reportable Breaches and Exceptions

A breach of PHI occurs when an organization uses or improperly discloses PHI. However, they are only required to send alerts for PHI that is not encrypted. In addition to this, there are three additional circumstances in which the breach notification rule is more lenient, during such compliance violations and PHI breaches.

  1. If it was unintentional or done in good faith, and was within the scope of the authority.
  2. If it was done unintentionally between two people permitted to access the PHI.
  3. If the organization has a good faith belief that the person to whom the disclosure was made would not be able to retain the PHI.

Under such a case, the organization should ensure that such incidents don’t reoccur and take corrective action plans. Breach alerts are required only for unsecured PHI. If you secured it as specified by this guidance, then you don’t need to send the alerts. 

Partner with Wheelhouse IT 

You may believe that you can meet the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) on your own, and you may be right. A HIPAA-verified Managed Service Provider (MSP) makes it much easier to achieve HIPAA compliance than if you were to do it on your own.

To keep your organization and in-house IT department HIPAA compliant, you can rely on Wheelhouse IT. Some of the benefits of working with us include:

  • Conducting HIPAA security risk assessments
  • Encrypting all PHI and stored data
  • Implementing backup and disaster recovery plans to keep data secure
  • Identifying system vulnerabilities and providing high-quality solutions
  • Providing the necessary technology to ensure data security
  • Providing services such as Remote Monitoring Management (RMM), cloud-to-cloud backup, and authentication and access control

WheelHouse IT is ready to help your business navigate HIPAA compliance.

If you are looking for the assistance of an MSP for your HIPAA compliance needs, book time on our calendar below.

How Does Technology Help in the Medical Field

a man with a stethoscope is looking at a laptop

Technology has improved significantly in the last ten years. It appears that almost everything can be accomplished with the simple press of a button. This is especially true in the medical field. Doctors can now do surgeries using technology that was not even available a decade ago. Technology has made it easier for doctors to diagnose and treat patients.

In this blog post, we will look at some of how technological advancements have benefited the medical field. In addition, we will discuss some of the most recent advances that have been made in the world of health care. 

What are some of the Benefits Technology has Provided in the Health Care and Medical Field?

Some benefits of technology in the health care and medical field include:

Precision and efficiency in medical treatments have grown:

Medical devices such as MRI scanners and laser surgery have improved and improved treatment processes’ effectiveness. It is now possible to scan and inspect at-risk patients’ bodies more quickly and thoroughly, allowing for earlier and more accurate problem detection.

Greater availability of resources and information:

As a result of the internet, individuals and medical professionals have significantly improved access to medical journal articles, treatment guidelines, and research data. Patients and medical professionals in any part of the world can now communicate with one another because of advanced technology in the medical field.

Increased communication skills with patients and other medical personnel:

Advancements in technology have made it possible for doctors to contact patients directly through email and teleconferencing. They have also made it easier for doctors to consult with professionals from other fields. In addition, it is now much more straightforward for physicians to share patient records with other healthcare team members.

Improved tracking of patients’ health:

Electronic health records and bar code technology have revolutionized diagnosing and treating medical conditions, especially chronic diseases. The current process for generating information on a patient’s past medical history has been streamlined, making it easier to ensure that everyone involved in a person’s care has access to the most up-to-date information.

Better quality of care:

Defibrillators, blood pressure monitors, medical equipment for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), 3D printers, and other life-saving mobile devices have all been responsible for saving people’s lives. It is only reasonable to anticipate that medical technology’s impact on healthcare will become increasingly significant over the following years.

Faster disease and injury detection and treatment:

Healthcare professionals can now use technology to identify and treat infections and wounds quickly. While x-rays, MRIs, and 3D printing technology can help diagnose and understand shattered bones and other injuries, heart rate monitors, for example, can help detect cardiac arrhythmias.

More personalized care:

Since the advent of pharmacogenomics, drug therapies have grown more personalized and effective. In addition, individuals are allowed to play a more active role in their healthcare, which is made possible by advances in health information technology.

Decreased prices for medical operations and treatments:

While many medical procedures and treatments have gotten more affordable, the standard of care has improved. This is partly due to the increased effectiveness of using technology in healthcare. Furthermore, patient outcomes have improved, resulting in fewer difficulties and the need for follow-up care.

Technology has provided the healthcare industry with several benefits, some of which are breakthrough treatment opportunities, improved clinical outcomes, and more efficient financial solutions. Technology has helped improve patient care flow, resulting in people being more actively involved in their medical decisions than at any other time in history. If one has a deeper comprehension of how technology may be applied to advance medical care, the sky is the limit regarding what can be accomplished.

So, there is no denying that technology has had consistent, high-quality evidence on the medical and healthcare industries. This trend is only expected to increase society’s increasing reliance on medical technology. 

What is the Impact of Health Information Technology on Healthcare?

Health information technology (HIT) is the application of information processing that includes both computer hardware and software and is concerned with the storage, retrieval, sharing, and use of healthcare information, data, and knowledge for communication and decision-making. The rapidly increasing field of health information technology has the potential to profoundly revolutionize the healthcare system by improving clinical decision-making, lowering human error rates, and improving patient access to their medical records.

Additionally, handheld devices such as mobile phones and personal digital assistants are becoming increasingly important in health information technology because they allow for more effective communication among members of the care team and faster access to patient information for medical providers. According to an analysis, health information technology can reduce expenses while improving patient safety and treatment quality.

Health information technology also facilitates data collection, identifying qualified participants, and monitoring patient safety outcomes in clinical trials, which are critical to evaluating novel medical technologies and medicines. While the full impact of HIT on healthcare is still being assessed in robust studies, it is clear that these tools have the potential to significantly improve the quality of life and security of patient care.

Indeed, the advancements in technology in healthcare have been nothing short of miraculous. While the disadvantages of technology in healthcare do exist, the advantages far outweigh them. An adaptive healthcare system takes advantage of all the available technologies to provide patients with the best care. 

How is Communication Technology Used for Medical Treatments?

Communication technology is rapidly being used in medical therapy. Doctors can now use various communication technologies to model patient risk, improve healthcare quality, and save lives. By understanding how communication technology is used in medicine, we may all benefit from a better understanding of our health and the critical role communication plays in healthcare.

Risk modeling is one area where communication technology has a significant impact. By modeling the hazards associated with various diseases, doctors may more precisely determine which patients are at high risk and require close monitoring. As a result, fewer critical patients demand prompt medical attention and higher-quality healthcare.

Another application of communication technology that is helping to enhance the standard of medical treatment is the development of evidence-based guidelines. These technologies may ensure that patients receive the highest care possible by supplying medical professionals with the most recent information and recommendations. In certain instances, communication technology is even being utilized to provide medical treatments directly to patients.

Furthermore, ongoing research is being done to investigate how communication technology usage might be included in the production of educational materials for patients. Patients may get a deeper awareness of common conditions and be better equipped to make educated decisions regarding their care as a result of the availability of these resources, which have the potential to be of help. In some cases, the specific patient’s requirements may even be considered while developing these materials.

To summarize, communication technology benefits the medical industry by assisting physicians in risk modeling, boosting healthcare quality, and expanding access to care. The technologies mentioned above will almost certainly make it possible for even further improvements to be made in medical care so long as this pattern continues.


Advantages of Using Clinical Decision Support in Healthcare

The adoption of technology has fundamentally altered the way we work and live. Healthcare is one of several industries that has benefited from introducing new technologies. One such technology is clinical decision support systems (CDSS). Clinical decision support systems are computer-based systems that provide clinicians with information to help them make better patient care decisions.

One of the advantages of technology support systems is that they aid in adopting scientific evidence-based practices. Second, clinical decision support systems can help detect problems early on when they are still manageable. Third, CDSS may tailor counsel to each patient’s unique condition. The fourth advantage of CDSS is that it can reduce the need for costly and invasive testing and treatments. Fifth, CDSS can improve patient-clinician relationships as the direct patient care ecosystem changes.

In addition, CDSS are especially well-suited for use in critical care settings, where time is frequently of the essence, and decision-making is often complex. In these cases, CDSS can assist clinicians in diagnosing life-threatening disorders and selecting the best course of treatment. Another area where CDSS might be pretty helpful is drug interactions. CDSSS can help clinicians avoid potentially deadly mistakes by alerting them to potential drug interactions.

It is also essential to keep in mind that the implementation of a CDSS has the potential to save costs while simultaneously improving patient outcomes. It is anticipated that in the following years, as healthcare institutions become more aware of the advantages offered by various aspects of technology, there will be an increase in the utilization of CDSS.

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Microsoft Teams Can Help You With HIPAA Compliance

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Let’s talk about Microsoft Teams and how it helps keep our information safe. Microsoft Teams is a special tool that people use to communicate and share information, especially in places like hospitals. It’s important for hospitals and healthcare providers to follow certain rules to protect people’s private information, and Microsoft Teams helps with that.

First, let’s learn about something called HIPAA. HIPAA is a set of rules that make sure our personal and health information stays private. It stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. When hospitals want to use Microsoft Teams to talk about important health information, they need to sign an agreement with Microsoft. This agreement makes sure that the software follows all the HIPAA rules.

To use Microsoft Teams in a way that follows HIPAA, hospitals need a special account called Microsoft 365 and a premium edition of Microsoft Teams. This helps them do things like check if everything is following the rules, get reports about their compliance, and make sure all the settings are correct.

So why is this important?

Well, imagine you’re at the doctor’s office, and the nurse needs to tell the doctor something important about your health. They can use Microsoft Teams to send a message to the doctor securely. This means only the people who are supposed to see the message can see it, and it won’t be shared with anyone else.

Microsoft Teams has some special features to keep our information safe. It has access controls, which means only the right people can log in and see the information. It also has something called encryption, which changes the information into a secret code that only the right people can understand.

There are a few things a law firm can do to make sure they are using Microsoft Teams in a safe way. They can limit the sharing and communication to only happen in Microsoft Teams, so everything stays in one safe place. They can also review and restrict who can see certain things, so only the right people have access. It’s also important to check regularly if everything is following the rules and fix any problems.

Remember, it’s really important to keep our private information safe, especially when it comes to our health. Microsoft Teams helps lawyers and healthcare providers do that by following the HIPAA rules and making sure only the right people can see our information.

So next time you’re at the doctor’s office, know that they’re using special tools like Microsoft Teams to keep your information safe and secure.

Email Encryption for HIPAA Compliance

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Email encryption is a method that converts data that is readable into something that is not readable in the hope of preserving the privacy of the data. If used in conjunction with HIPAA security measures, email encryption could assist in protecting the privacy and security of PHI (Protected Health Information). This article will explain how to utilize email encryption to achieve HIPAA compliance by covering its fundamentals. We’ll also provide a list of HIPAA-compliant email providers to compare. 

Email Encryption to Achieve HIPAA Compliance

Here are some ways that you can utilize encryption in the email to ensure HIPAA compliance:

  • Use popular and HIPAA-compliant email services that secure messages in transit and at rest.
  • Ensure that you secure the message using high-level encryption techniques, such as obtaining HIPAA certification.
  • Limit access to the individuals who can receive and send emails that contain PHI.
  • Limit access to audit logs to stop unauthorized access to PHI.
  • Allow two-factor authentication to provide more security.
  • Inform staff about HIPAA compliance guidelines and procedures, email compliance, and email rules, such as encryption for emails and secure web and online forms.

Following HIPAA guidelines regarding email compliance and rules and these additional steps will ensure PHI transmitted via email stays private and secure. HIPAA-compliant secure email services provide the required tools and features to ensure your PHI is protected and kept safe when sent via email.

The HIPAA Compliance Checklist

HIPAA compliance requires companies to follow the best practices in managing PHI. The HIPAA Compliance Checklist can help ensure that all HIPAA obligations are met and that PHI is secured. 

Here’s a list of technical safeguards for HIPAA Compliance: 

  1. Implement physical, administrative, and technological safeguards to safeguard the privacy and security of PHI.
  2. Create HIPAA guidelines and procedures to ensure conformity with HIPAA regulations regarding email communications.
  3. Train staff on HIPAA policies, procedures, and security guidelines.
  4. Use access control measures to restrict who has access to PHI.
  5. Secure email encryption is recommended for all email accounts that contain PHI.
  6. Check systems for any unauthorized access to or use of PHI.
  7. Set up audit controls to track and record HIPAA-related activity.
  8. Update regularly HIPAA policies, procedures, guidelines, and security.
  9. Ensure HIPAA Compliance is maintained by conducting periodic audits and risk assessments.
  10. Create an email notification for breach of procedure system to notify via email reports of any unauthorized access to or disclosure of PHI.

What are the HIPAA-compliant email providers?

HIPAA-compliant email service providers include those that satisfy the specifications of HIPAA to protect the privacy and security of PHI. These providers offer security features (email encryption software) like encryption in transit, in-the-middle users’ authentication, granular audit trails, and access control to safeguard against unauthorized access.

There are several HIPAA-compliant email service providers available, including: 

  • Microsoft Office 365 HIPAA/HITECH-compliant plans
  • Google G Suite HIPAA or Google Workspace/HITECH-compliant plans
  • Proof point HIPAA Compliant Email Services and Encryption
  • Six HIPAA Compliant Email Services and File Encryption
  • Iron Core HIPAA Compliant Email Service and File Encryption

With these HIPAA-compliant email and email archiving service providers, you can be sure that all personal health information is secure and encrypted when sent via email. You can sign-up for a 30-day free trial with these popular email applications before choosing which email platform suits you best.

Having HIPAA-Compliant Secure Email Providers Is Only A Part Of HIPAA Compliance

 HIPAA-compliant email service is only one aspect of HIPAA compliance. HIPAA stipulates that all PHI is kept safe and protected throughout the day. Alongside HIPAA-compliant secure email services, companies must also have guidelines and policies that ensure the privacy and security of email content, especially that of PHI. This includes access control, user authentication, data backup, and disaster recovery procedures. HIPAA also requires companies to perform regular HIPAA risk assessments to determine any vulnerabilities that could be present within their systems.

What is PHI? And why is it essential to secure it?

PHI refers to any protected health information that could be used to identify the patient. Additionally, HIPAA stipulates that all PHI must be secured and private, and encryption of emails is among the most efficient methods to ensure this.

Utilizing HIPAA-compliant email services and encryption techniques, you can ensure your personal information is safe in transit and storage. This ensures the fullest extent of HIPAA compliance standards is met and PHI is kept secure and private.

How does PHI get encrypted during the entire process?

HIPAA-compliant email services use different encryption methods to add an extra layer of security to ensure the privacy and security of PHI.It is used during transit (i.e., while data moves between computers) and at rest (i.e. when saved on different storage devices).

Encryption In Transit

The process of encryption in transit can be described as the act of encryption data as it is moved from one system to the next. This ensures that any PHI sent from one email address to other email recipients remains safe while traveling across networks. HIPAA-compliant secure email services use encryption methods, such as TLS (Transport Layer Security) and SSL (Secure Socket Layer), to safeguard PHI during transport.

Encryption At Rest

“Encryption at rest” refers to the process stored on storage devices or email archives, such as computers. HIPAA-compliant secure email services use various encryption methods like AES 256-Bit Encryption (Advanced Security Standard for Encryption) and PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) to safeguard the privacy of PHI while it is in storage or email archiving.

Who is covered by HIPAA?

Per HIPAA, “Covered Entities” must comply with HIPAA compliance requirements for handling PHI and observing transmission security. The covered entities include:

  • Healthcare Industry and Healthcare Organizations
  • Healthcare professionals (e.g., hospitals and physicians)
  • Health plans (e.g., insurance companies as well as HMOs)
  • Associate business (e.g., suppliers who provide solutions to entities covered)
  • Any company that handles PHI is a Covered Entity and must comply with HIPAA regulations.

This means using HIPAA-compliant secure email services for all addresses communicating PHI. It also includes implementing encryption techniques to ensure the privacy and security of all PHI.

How can an entity violate HIPAA?

HIPAA considers any unauthorized access to or disclosure of PHI a violation. HIPAA-compliant secure email services are designed to prevent such breaches by encrypting data during transit and storage.

Examples of HIPAA violations are: 

  • Sending unencrypted emails containing PHI
  • Use of unencrypted email addresses in transmitting PHI
  • People store unencrypted PHI on storage devices such as computers or devices
  • Unauthorized use of secure email addresses and access to PHI

The consequences of these violations could be penalties, fines, and even criminal charges for both organizations and individuals. When you utilize HIPAA-compliant secure email services, you can ensure your private information is kept secure and protected throughout the day.

Penalties For HIPAA Non-Compliance

The penalties for violating HIPAA could be very extreme. HIPAA violations could result in criminal and civil penalties, including as high as $1.5 million in fines for each instance. Additionally, HIPAA regulations may oblige organizations to offer breach notification services for affected patients, which could be costly and long-winded.

IT Support’s Role In HIPAA Compliance

IT support plays a crucial role in ensuring HIPAA compliance by implementing HIPAA-compliant email services, encryption techniques, and additional security methods following the business associate agreement. Professionals assist businesses in adhering to HIPAA standards to protect the security of PHI.

Additionally, they can offer guidelines on using HIPAA-compliant secure email services to secure emails containing PHI and guarantee HIPAA compliance. Including IT support is essential for HIPAA compliance.

WheelHouse IT provides HIPAA-compliant email solutions to help companies achieve HIPAA regulations and safeguard their personal information. We provide various solutions, such as email encryption access control, encryption, and loss prevention for data to ensure that PHI remains safe and secure throughout the day in compliance with the business associate agreement. 

WheelHouse IT As Your Partner In HIPAA Compliance

WheelHouse IT provides HIPAA-compliant email services and encryption solutions to businesses that require a safe method of sending, receiving, and saving PHI while respecting the business associate agreement. We employ the most recent encryption techniques, including TLS and SSL for emails in transit, AES 256-bit encryption, and PGP for data at rest. Additionally, we ensure HIPAA conformity requirements are met by taking extra steps.

The services we offer include the following:

  • HIPAA-compliant email encryption
  • Controlling access and authentication
  • Data loss prevention
  • Secure storage of PHI under the business associate agreement
  • Support and maintenance of HIPAA compliance 

We also provide consulting and training services that help businesses understand HIPAA regulations, use HIPAA-compliant email services, and ensure HIPAA compliance.

Contact us for more details about HIPAA-compliant email solutions from WheelHouse IT. We can help you attain HIPAA compliance and also ensure the privacy and security that you have of your PHI.

We look forward to working with you throughout the HIPAA conformance journey!

Medical Computer Systems

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There has been a significant shift in how we provide medical assistance in recent years. Unquestionably, the widespread adoption of cutting-edge innovations and medical devices is to blame.

The conventional approaches to providing medical care are being phased out in favor of more modern ones primarily based on technological advancements. One of the most significant advancements that have taken place in this day and age is the utilization of medical computer systems.

Simply put, medical computer systems have expedited operations and enhanced data management. Consequently, administrative tasks are being met with an increased level of efficiency and precision with these digital records. This transition benefits patients and healthcare providers by allowing everyone to offer treatment more timely, cost-effective, and convenient.

What Are Medical Systems?

However, in their most basic form, these computer-based medical systems may be seen as technological devices that enable healthcare workers to offer excellent care to their patients. EMR and EHR play a significant part in efficiently running any healthcare facility. These systems are crucial because they are responsible for storing and maintaining patient data, patient scheduling, and enabling communication between staff members in some cases.

In addition to boosting the performance of the medical facility as a whole, other medical computer systems may also offer a variety of significant features for medical practitioners and their patients. For instance, some systems are equipped with patient monitoring functions, making it possible to monitor patients being treated for chronic ailments or assess how well the therapies work.

Medical computer systems aim to optimize the quality of services more practically and conveniently for all parties involved.

The Differences Between EMR and EHR Systems

EMR and EHR are electronic medical records, but there is a big difference between the two.

The terms “electronic health records” (EHR) and “electronic medical records” (EMR) are often used interchangeably. Although they are used for storing and managing patient records, there are several significant distinctions.

A single doctor or clinic primarily utilizes electronic medical records (EMR). A patient’s pertinent clinical information, including medical history, demographics, test results, and more, is stored in the system. It’s a digital alternative to the traditional paper medical chart. The system can also monitor vital signs or a patient’s general health condition over time and identify patterns or shifts is a significant perk of electronic medical record systems.

An electronic health record system (EHR) is superior to an electronic medical record (EMR) system in that it contains a patient’s whole medical history instead of only the data of a single provider or clinic. An electronic healthcare records (EHR) system stores information on individuals, including clinical data, demographic information, patient notes or prescriptions, allergies, vaccines, and more. This data is kept in a centralized repository, from which authorized healthcare professionals in various hospital settings can get it.

An electronic health record (EHR) system’s primary advantage is that it provides medical professionals with a complete overview of the health of their patients. This may be useful when a patient gets treatment from various physicians or experts. They can quickly access a patient’s medical history and make well-informed choices regarding their treatment.

Other Hospital Systems Being Used Today

There are a wide variety of systems or medical software that are used nowadays. Before settling on one that will best serve the needs of any medical facility, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of each system.

In addition to electronic medical records and electronic health records, the following are some of the most common software options that are used in hospital settings today:

Clinical Decision Support Systems

Medical professionals rely on these systems because they can analyze data from various clinical and administrative databases. With this information, doctors can be ready to make diagnoses and plan for potentially dangerous medical situations, like drug interactions. The filtered data these systems offer improve the quality of care they deliver to their patients.

Financial Record Software or Accounting Software

Keeping accurate financial records is crucial in the healthcare industry. Software designed specifically for financial records facilitates this procedure by serving as a centralized database for all such documents. These include medical insurance claims, hospital costs, and patient billing systems.

With everything in one location, keeping tabs on payments and ensuring the invoices are paid on time is much less hassle. The hospital may also save money long-term due to the financial record software’s ability to detect and report errors and anomalies.

Practice Management Systems or Practice Management Software

An efficient PMS may automate daily administrative tasks, coordinate patient scheduling and data, and keep everything running smoothly in a medical office. When staff spends less time on these non-clinical activities, they have more time to devote to the patients.

Errors are minimized, and communication is facilitated across a healthcare institution when a PMS is implemented. Therefore, a robust Practice Management System may play a critical part in guaranteeing top-notch treatment for patients.

Patient Engagement Software

Now more than ever, healthcare providers expect patients to take an active role in their healthcare instead of merely receiving treatment. Thus, healthcare facilities increasingly rely on Patient Engagement Software (PES) to cater to patients’ needs.

PES has several advantages for both patients and doctors. Patients may benefit from PES in several ways, including receiving individualized treatment plans, medication reminders, and appointment scheduling. Providers may use PES to better connect with their patients, monitor their engagement, and simplify their operations. Patient Engagement Software may also reduce costs by lowering the frequency of unneeded testing and doctor’s visits.

Dental Software

Dental software is a dental office management software that helps with patient data, scheduling, billing, and other back-office operations. Though most dental offices still rely on paper records, there are several benefits to switching to dental software.

These include increased productivity, better data quality, and simpler adherence to regulations. Additionally, dental software has key features that may facilitate communication with other healthcare professionals, such as general practitioners and specialist referral networks. Therefore, dental software has the potential to contribute to the enhancement of care provided to patients significantly.


Telemedicine is medical treatment delivery across long distances using electronic methods, such as the Internet, telephones, and videoconferencing. Patients in rural and underserved regions, in particular, benefit from the increased availability of this service.

By eliminating the need for patients to travel to see their doctors, telemedicine has the potential to cut down on healthcare expenditures significantly. Additionally, telemedicine has shown to improve patient outcomes by expeditiously connecting patients with specialists. Although telemedicine has the potential to improve healthcare delivery in many ways, it is important to view it as distinct from face-to-face interactions. Instead, we must see it as a supplementary resource for improving patient access and outcomes.

E-Prescribe Tools

Medical practitioners and other types of healthcare professionals actively use e-prescribe tools to digitally transmit prescription orders to pharmacies. Writing out or phoning prescriptions is often a slower and less efficient procedure, and this method may help decrease the number of mistakes in the process.

E-prescribe tools often consist of a software program downloaded onto the provider’s computer. Then, a link to the systems used by the pharmacy. Patients may also gain electronic access to their medications through their health records or portals. E-prescribing may contribute to improved communication between healthcare practitioners and pharmacies, which may enhance patient treatment quality.

The Outlook for Medical Systems

The continued rise in the population’s average age will likely keep driving up the demand for medical services. Together with changes in medical technology, this will lead to a need for more advanced medical systems.

That’s why the healthcare industry has been investing in innovative business intelligence tools to boost clinical performance. This includes cloud-based services and custom software solutions. Artificial intelligence or AI will also have a role in the future of medicine. Particularly in the diagnostic and therapeutic decisions made by clinicians. In light of this, the medical software market has a bright future.

However, it’s essential to remember that the market is quite competitive. Various companies provide software options, services, and goods that are functionally identical. Because of this, primary care physicians or healthcare practitioners should seek trusted and experienced service providers who can provide valuable help. It is critical to research, get feedback, and only engage with a reputable IT support provider.

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