by Jesse Collier

Security in the digital age is a major deal. Future trends show that EHR systems will implement stronger security to keep data safe and private. Some of this security will be related to HIPAA compliance because HIPAA rules and regulations are in place in order to keep personal health care information private. Other security measures address where the data is stored.

Depending on your organization and the EHR system you use, the health care data you collect may be stored in-house or stored “in the cloud.” There is a difference between the two types of data storage, and there are certain security advantages of one over the other.

What is In-House Data Storage?

Your behavioral health organization collects data from clients every day. This data includes names, contact info, diagnoses, treatment information, prescriptions, and health history. In addition, you collect insurance information, appointment schedules, notes from practitioners, and payment information. EHR systems are great because they store and organize all this data for you. As a result, you can find it again at the click of a button.

But where exactly does it go?

If your EHR system is older, it is possible that all that vital information is stored in-house. That means it is physically located on a server that is inside your building or a building that your company owns. At some point in the past, this was probably the most secure way to store your organization’s data. However, as we move forward into the digital age, in-house data storage has become old-school. It served its purpose. However, this method of data storage is no longer as effective or secure as it used to be.

Why is In-House Data Storage a Security Risk?

When data is stored in-house, your company is entirely responsible for the security of that data. You will most likely need an IT security person or team that knows how to keep data safe from hackers who may want to steal the sensitive data you have collected over the years. Many in-house data storage setups do not have the security measures in place that are necessary to counteract modern cyber threats.

Also, if data is physically stored on an in-house server, it is more challenging to share that data with people who need it. Your in-house computers may be able to access the data, but what about your practitioner who sometimes works from home? In-house data storage is not ideal for use with mobile devices. If you email the necessary information, you are taking more security risks and creating more ways for cyber criminals to reach the data. Also, if your organization grows and develops branches, your data will be fractured between the different locations. In-house data storage does not allow for centralized data that can be easily shared.

In-house data storage was once useful. However, now there are better, more secure, options available, such as cloud-based storage.

What is Cloud-Based Data Storage?

If your data is stored “in the cloud,” you aren’t really floating information up into the atmosphere. Cloud-based data is stored on external servers that you access online. There are data centers located around the world, and they are designed to be very secure. The space your organization uses is not shared with other companies. Your space is all yours, and only your organization can access it.

Cloud-based EHR systems do not require your company to install special hardware, such as large servers. They do not require special licensing. You won’t need an on-site IT security team to guard your information because the external servers where your data is located are already protected. Data centers have physical security, and they have anti-intrusion measures in place, such as firewalls. Most data centers also run frequent backup procedures, so you can be sure that your data doesn’t get lost or destroyed.

Cloud-based data storage is easier to implement than in-house data storage, and it costs less. The IT infrastructure you would need for in-house servers is expensive, and probably not even possible for most small to medium organizations.

You may have heard the term “web-based” in relation to certain software programs or EHR systems. Web-based means the same thing as cloud-based. It means the data can be accessed on the web.

Why is Remote Access to Your Data Important?

When your organization’s data is stored in the cloud, it can be accessed remotely. A cloud-based EHR system can be accessed from a mobile phone, a home computer, or a laptop. Your users will need to enter their secure login information to get into the system, and then they can enter new data, pull up existing information, and basically do their work from anywhere that has an online connection.

Workplaces all over the world are transforming, making on-the-go work just as normal as in-office work. EHR systems that allow for remote access are becoming absolutely essential.

Sharing information is also easier on a cloud-based system because users can pull up the information from the source. There is no need to make extra copies, insert it into emails, and send it to another server. Your data is centralized in one place on a cloud-based server. If your organization has multiple locations, a cloud-based EHR can save a lot of headaches and misinformation because each location will have real-time access to the same data.

What Does Exym Use To Store Data?

If your organization uses Exym’s EHR system, you can rest assured that your data is safely stored in the cloud. We use external servers based in the United States, and we have our own security measures in place to keep your sensitive information secure and HIPAA compliant. For instance, we run frequent tests on our software to ensure security. We also encrypt the data that is entered, and it remains encrypted while it is stored and when it is transmitted somewhere else. Encryption makes the data much, much more difficult for hackers to steal and access.

Learn more about our EHR security. Exym EHR software is on the forefront of meeting or exceeding compliance standards set out by regulatory bodies, such as HIPAA. We care about your security needs.