In our current healthcare world, most patient information is stored in computer systems and can be accessed through multiple technology outlets. Before computers were around or popular for use, patient care was often tracked by hand in physical charts. Technology has improved patient care through the ease of provider communication, efficiency, quality of patient care, education and much more. Technology has also impacted and improved patient safety. Well-built computer systems to hold patient information has allowed patient charts and sensitive information to be stored securely. However, there can also be risks in using these systems. Most healthcare providers have enacted strict rules and guidelines to ensure they are keeping their patient data safe and secure. As a user of any healthcare system, you can do your part to ensure you are keeping your patient’s information safe. Here are a few simple tips to ensure you are keeping your technology systems secure:
• Update your passwords regularly and follow your healthcare guidelines for the length and difficulty of your password. Choose a password that would be difficult for someone to repeat, but that you are able to remember.
• Don’t write down your password and/or keep it at your desk or somewhere that anyone could locate it.
• Be on guard with the emails you receive and report any suspicious looking ones before opening them. Only access your work email on your work computer.
• Always check with your IT team before downloading anything onto your computer.
• Clearing your browser history including your cookies, can keep your computer system safe.
• When you step away from your computer make sure to lock your screen.
• Consider a screen guard so that those near your computer cannot see your patient information.