Are You In Compliance? How To Ensure The Protection Of Your Patient's Medical Data

Posted on: 15 July 2017

When you run a pharmacy, it's crucial that you remain in compliance at all times. One area of compliance that can cause concern is patient information. HIPPA regulations ensures data privacy and security provisions for protecting a persons medical information, including pharmacy records. If your pharmacy fails to protect patient medical information, you may be in violation of those regulations. Patient data security should be of utmost importance when it comes to running a pharmacy. Here's some information that will help you protect your patient data, and ensure that you're in compliance with HIPPA regulations.

Security Begins with Your Password

When it comes to storing patient data on your computer, security begins with your password. If your using passwords such as 1234 or drowssap, you're not going far enough to protect your patient data. Here are some tips that regulatory affairs services companies often recommend to make your password more effective.

Create Expiration Dates

With everything you do throughout the day to keep the pharmacy running, it can be difficult to remember when it's time to change your password. That's why you need to create password expiration dates. Your password will automatically become obsolete after 30-90 days, at which time you'll need to create a new password before you, or your pharmacy staff, can log back on.

Make Them Uniquely Difficult

When choosing a password, don't make it so simple that anyone could guess it. Avoid names, birth dates, or addresses. Instead choose unique combinations of letters, numbers and symbols. Be sure to throw in a few capital letters.

Automatic Logoff

It may be less time-consuming to remain logged on to your computers at all times. However, that puts your patient data at risk. Set your computers to automatically log off after about 15 minutes of inactivity. This will prevent unauthorized access to your computers by ensuring the password is required each time you log back on.

Install Privacy Screens

You might not realize this, but depending on where your computers are located, people could be catching glimpses of private medical information. This is particularly true if you have a drive-thru pharmacy window. When setting up your computers, be sure that the screens are not located in a position that would allow others to have access to private patient data. If necessary, install privacy screens around each of your computer terminals. 

Update Your Antivirus Software

If you can't remember the last time you updated your antivirus software, it's time to take care of that. Your antivirus software will protect your computers from hackers, and ensure the safety of your patients private medical data. 


Working With The Best Pharmacy

A few months ago, when I was diagnosed with cancer, I had no idea how important my local pharmacy was about to become. However, after gathering together the litany of prescription medications I needed, I realized that my pharmacy would become an important part of my life. My pharmacist was gentle, kind, and thoughtful. He took the time to explain different medications to me and told me about important side effects to watch out for. It was incredible to work with him, and he really made my entire experience better. This blog talks about different pharmacies, so that you can understand what you should expect as a customer.