Security and Privacy while Handling Health Information


Interest in how electronic medical information is stored digitally has dramatically increased over the past couple of years. 

The reason is that doctors need access to this information in order to make decisions about a patient's diagnosis and treatment. However, at the same time, patients have the right to determine how and when medical information about them will be shared. 

In this context, it is of the upmost importance to guarantee patient’s privacy and security so that this privilege can’t be taken away from them.

But how can this be accomplished in this new and seemingly dangerous digital era?

Let’s start by covering the basics first:

Privacy Definition in Healthcare

All individuals have the right to keep its clinical information secret and to not have it revealed to third parties without its consent.

But here is the thing:

Privacy is usually confused with confidentiality. 

While privacy is a right of the patient to determine how she wants her information to be treated, confidentiality refers to the obligation of the doctor or healthcare provider to hold clinical information private –as well as religion, sexuality and any intimacy. 

However, as good as definitions can be, how do they translate into real actions?

Dealing with Privacy Company-wide

In Mendelian, as in any healthcare organization, many employees can potentially have access to sensitive data.

Our way to making sure that we make every possible effort to guarantee patient privacy is by enforcing a company-wide security protocol.

This protocol consists of two primary type of actions:

  • On the one hand, we make sure that our privacy policy is known and enforced by every employee at all times. Making teams understand that patient privacy is crucial saves a lot of headaches and potentially thousands of dollars.
  • On the other hand, and at a more technical level, we have a security system in place with email filters, firewalls, access control, etc. 

Our employees are responsible to handle security solutions alerts in the most appropriate way, which usually involves forwarding them to the IT team.

Security Definition in Healthcare

Security refers to the mechanisms set in place to protect the privacy and confidentiality of health information. 

Nowadays, health data is stored digitally for improved performance and capabilities, featuring lower costs and improved care among others. 

However:

As we all know from recent tragic events, it is not all sun shines and rainbows, since this opens the door for a new and different threat that didn’t previously exist: cyber-attacks.

We are very aware that breaches in health information can have serious consequences for both, the organization and our patients themselves, and we take all necessary steps to make sure that our security guidelines are properly implemented.

E-Security in Mendelian

We know that the new digital healthcare era poses a new set of challenges for patient security when it comes to obtaining, storing and transferring huge quantities of data.

And that is exactly why we have invested our healthcare IT team to design an attack-proof platform that allows our patients to share their information with our genetic experts in a fast, convenient and secure way.

  • Our platform security guarantees:
  • Data encryption.
  • Backups.
  • Unique IDs matched with strong passwords.
  • Secure servers.
  • Encrypted payment transactions.

And please, if you would like to know more about the steps we take to guarantee your privacy and security or request information about our products, do not hesitate to contact our team.

We will be more than happy to help you!