Medical records and the iPad - AmericaNowNews.com

Medical records and the iPad

The iPad is almost ubiquitous in the working world.  They make looking up documents a snap and so much easier to read.  That's why many doctors are considering using them in their rounds.  It cuts down on carrying paper files or needing to find a bulky computer to look things up. 

Cyber Expert Theresa Payton says this is a wonderful breakthrough, but she explains why you might want to ask your doctor a few questions the next time she or he pulls out the iPad.

The good news is you have a few things working in your favor to keep your data safe.

For starters, there are laws that require everyone in the medical field to safeguard your information.  For example, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is a law that requires hospital's and doctor's offices to safeguard your privacy and your personal information. 

She also mentions there are a variety of security products, some already included on the iPad by Apple, and some for purchase that can make a difference in protecting you and your data.

iPad has some built in features such as WPA2 security, data encryption, and options for locking the device, using a password to retrieve information, and even a command to wipe all the data if it is lost or stolen.

New products are on the market that a doctor's office or hospital can purchase to give your doctor access to files in a more secure way.

TIPS FOR ANY IPAD USER:

  1. iPad users need to run the latest operating system on the iPad for the best protection
  2. Use the auto lock feature with a smart password
  3. Set up your iPad so it will erase all data after 10 unsuccessful password attempts
  4. Enable the remote wipe feature, in case it is lost or stolen
  5. If storing medical data, the iPad should not be used for any personal purposes to limit exposures to viruses and malware
  6. Encrypt data during transmissions and storage
  7. Use WPA2 protocol on their networks
  8. Stay away from free or public Wi-Fi, if at all possible

A very sophisticated criminal could get past these defenses, but these steps will offer some basic protections. 

WEB RESOURCES:

For more on your protections under HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), go to http://www.hipaa.org

For tips on how businesses can make their iPads more secure, go to www.apple.com/ipad/business/integration for more information

Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.

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