The design of Information flow and security Is a major concern In any enterprise. Without consistent and proper flow then statistical or decisional errors may occur. Therefore, the design of the information stream is a chief concern of the Information technologist. It is also important to safeguard the data from inappropriate viewing. To that end, it is important to map out the pattern. This example uses a doctor- patient visit in a medical clinic of the twenty-first century.
The first bit of the whole comes at the front desk confirming the patient identity and insurance Information. This must be with human Interaction and scanning equipment. Staff verify the ID cards and scan Insurance cards Into the record. There is a lot of personal information just in this step alone. This information proceeds to the triage nurse who takes the vital signs. Then the data and the patient proceed to the provider for the actual visit. Currently, there are already three people who can compromise the information and its security.
Incorrect data entry and wrong patient are the most common information errors. The remediation for these Is double-checking the information at the point of entry or using more automated means such as vital signs sensors connected to the data system. The security is physical in nature. The identification must be assured in the first place, and the insurance records accurate and safeguarded. Remember, the patient’s complaints or diagnosis shall be utterly confidential. If the insurance data is incorrect or not collected, billing will be incorrect and delayed.
This is inconvenient and costly. If the vitals are not correct, it wastes time retaking them. The data must be present and accurate prior to seeing the clinician. The doctor has the responsibility to enter complete Information Into the patient’s medical record accurately. This will include deliverables to the pharmacy, laboratory, radiology, the insurer, and others. Each of these risks a potential for input error increasing time usage and the ultimate cost. The provider enters diagnosis codes in as an alphanumeric decimal fashion.
One incorrect character will cause the insurance company not to pay for the visit, the medicine or the procedure. Storage of the data Is for billing, statistics and historical record. The database Is not onsite for the smaller clinics, necessitating network link to a server. The flow of the Information Is simplistic. It moves from the clinic information, to the server storage with five or six data entry points in the clinic. The data input is the most important aspect. Would it be reasonable for the patient to pay for prescriptions when an input error caused insurance not to cover it?
Of course, this is wrong, but it happens all the time. What would happen If entry of the procedure code were for an uninsured technique? If his happened repetitively, the patients would stop using the practice. The security mentioned above is a physical issue during the patient visit. However, patient privacy and data security is the penultimate concern in the medical profession. This applies to the billing and insurance data and the diagnosis. Consider this: a hacker changes the mentioned coding. Alternatively, the hacker changes the amount due to the practice.
Finally, the hacker determines the patient Is chronically taking narcotics; this makes the patient a target for theft. These are all examples of crimes In recent the tools used. The medical profession has a unique security framework. Most medical offices have an independent system for the medical and billing data; as opposed to their communications system (if they even have one). The notion of not having internet in the office is foreign to most, but it does improve the security of records. Therefore, the transmission phase of the figures to the server is the weak link in the chain.
Virtual Private Networks (VPN, Tunneling) ensure secure transmission if partnered with encryption. The information arrives securely at the data farm where physical and virtual protection is by the best possible applications and structures. It is accessible only by the firm who stored it and via VPN. Stored data security is easy when there is not an internet connection. However, data transfer is over a VPN, which utilizes the internet, subjects the data to interception. It also means the server is susceptible to intrusion. Therefore, the server farm maintains high security for the files.
A fence and gate with security checkpoints and guards round the building. Additionally, the server room has cipher-key locks and security doors. Remember, physical security is as important and virtual security. Therefore, the servers have exceptional mallard protection. There are both physical and virtual firewalls and monitoring software. These form a fortress of protection for the medical data. The final piece of fortification is a honey pot. This attracts the hackers and makes them believe they have found the real servers. This is a good defensive strategy for the medical data.
The data flows from the patient through the clinic staff and into the server under heavy guard. Specified personnel retrieve data for billing, auditing and statistical analysis. The entered data is double-checked and passes down the chain of care in the clinic and eventually transmitted to and stored in the server farm. Trained professionals, computer structure and applications keep the data from misuse during this process. Though this scheme is bulky and expensive, it effectively ensures data accuracy and integrity from source to archive.