Data encryption protects patient records

Data encryption offers greater security for laptops and other mobile devices.

Data encryption offers greater security for laptops and other mobile devices.

Chiropractors who implement web-based EHR software often concern themselves with the safety and security of such systems. As previously reported by this blog, cloud computing can actually offer greater security for small and midsize businesses as well as chiropractic offices and other medical practices. One avenue that is important for securing patient information is data encryption.

However, there are some common misconceptions about data encryption. Michelle McNickle's article from Healthcare IT News discusses a new report that details some typical myths within encrypting data. WinMagic Data Security – a provider of data encryption solutions – released the study "Data Encryption Demystified: Seven Common Misconceptions and the Solutions That Dispel Them" to help IT groups better handle the security of EHR systems and other health IT products.

For example, many professionals believe that passwords are able to protect laptops adequately. However, this is not the case, as many hackers could easily remove the hard drive from a laptop and access private information such as patient data through another system.

"In comparison, strong data security solutions that rely on encryption protect everything on the hard disk," the report states. "Even if the disk is removed and connected to another system, nothing on it can be read without the key. Modern encryption solutions often store the key in a protected area in hardware. This is a more secure approach than a simple password."

Another common myth is that data encryption may slow down a computer processor thereby lowering the productivity of a chiropractic office. However, while this may have been true in the past, processor hardware has made data encryption much more efficient.

Due to the newly efficient security features available on the market, chiropractors should not fear adopting web-based medical software, which enables immediate installation and online access.

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