What is an electronic medical record auditing tool and why should you implement it?

Compliance teams in healthcare organizations have the important task of ensuring patient data is protected from unwarranted access. It is a crucial job within the organization, due to the fact that it is difficult to restrict access to medical workers in the healthcare setting, and restricting access to EMRs could make it more difficult for them to do their daily, or emergency-related tasks. So access is open to all medical staff, and compliance must ensure those millions of daily accesses are all appropriate. In addition, HIPAA requires that these EMR accesses are audited, and hefty fines can be given for anything that slips through the cracks.

What is an EMR auditing tool?

Auditing millions of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) accesses a day through traditional methods, such as manual reviews, is time-consuming and prone to error. No one can fully review each access and ensure it was appropriate, which leads to false positives or missed inappropriate accesses. The good news is that technology in this area is on the rise. The growing trend is to utilize tools to help audit these accesses, known as EMR solutions. A tool like this can help compliance teams review the full EMR access log and flag anything that is suspicious for review. EMR access auditing solutions help compliance teams protect patient information and adhere to HIPAA guidelines. With millions of accesses to medical records each day, it’s impossible to audit manually, and inappropriate access to medical records can be missed. Utilizing an automated tool ensures nothing is missed, and any suspicious activity is investigated and taken care of. This helps compliance officers save time and focus on what really matters, the protection of patient information.

Why should healthcare organizations implement an EMR auditing tool?

There are a number of reasons why EMR auditing tools are necessary for healthcare organizations:

  • It can save time by allowing compliance teams to focus on what’s important instead of having to sift through millions of access logs.
  • An EMR access auditing tool can help an organization stay HIPAA-compliant (through finding and investigating suspicious accesses), therefore preventing fines and violation.

Imprivata’s Patient Privacy Monitoring solution is Best in KLAS, highly-ranked EMR access auditing solution that does all this and more. The Patient Privacy Monitoring solution does the work for you, reviewing millions of accesses and providing an explanation for access to 99% of the full access log. The remaining 1% of accesses without an explanation are presented for investigation, with a full portal that tracks it from start to finish. Patient Privacy Monitoring allows for compliance teams to stay compliant, and understand WHY an access was appropriate or inappropriate. This helps compliance officers explain their reasoning to governing bodies when necessary.