Monday, May 27, 2013

Tension between Health Care and IT Security


The Economic & Productivity Impact of IT Security on Healthcare


A major impact on efficiency caused by EMR implementation is the need for security which is usually provided by password protection.  Security policies often require automatic log off if a terminal is unused for a period of time.  Users are cautioned to not leave a unattended terminal without logging off.  Most EMRs automatically revert to a screensaver during idle periods.

Depending upon the clinic layout physicians may be highly mobile moving from exam room to exam room during a day’s work.  Each movement will require a log in. The situation may be lessened if the user is on a mobile platform such as an iPad, smartphone or other tablet interface, and never logs off from the EMR.

Time lost is significant in the first case and probably adds up to a significant amount of time logging in and waiting for access. Beside the inherent loss of time logging in, there is the additional frustration for the user in a busy clinic situation or if an urgent medical situation arises.  In most cases such as this the user delays entering into the electronic record until the end of the day.

Health Information systems lag behind the state of the art, for secure log ins. Readily available and affordable webcams and software for facial recognition, voice recognition, and/or fingerprint identification would speed the process with a seamless and transparent function.

Hopefully vendors will get the message, and render workable solutions for this common and very  irritating situation.


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