Privacy and security issues of patient data

3 min read

Privacy issues, security of patient data, and other aspects seem to pile on to many clinics, hospitals, and doctor’s offices, sometimes to the point of threatening to affect the quality of care that the medical staff is able to provide to their patients. Ensuring that a patient’s chart is updated every time there is some type of an interaction between the patient and the medical staff and then refiled in the correct location is no longer sufficient. Now, there is much more that providers must do to ensure that all regulations are met.

When patients come in presenting symptoms that result in requested lab testing, there are regulations that address privacy concerns in addition to bio-hazardous materials handling. Because some diseases are highly contagious, blood, stool, urine, tissue, and other types of samples sent to outside labs must now be contained so that nothing from the patient’s sample can possibly contaminate the public during transit.

Although medical providers are always considered responsible for samples taken at their facility, this does not mean that they will always have complete physical control over those samples. This is why it is so very important, and on so many different levels, that responsible medical providers utilize medical packaging services that have the certifications to provide the necessary precautions and controls that will satisfy the legal requirements. Simply boxing up vials of blood to be sent to the lab is not standard procedure any longer.

The same is true of any type of sample. It is important, also, to not only ensure the protection of the general public but to also ensure the integrity of the sample itself. Patients who have to pay for a second round because the sample was contaminated or otherwise rendered unsuitable for testing because the packaging used was substandard will be extremely dissatisfied. Not only because of the increased costs associated with the additional procedure, but patients will also be upset over having to make a second visit for a second procedure that can sometimes be painful.

Having a packaging service that not only understands the legal requirements but also the needs of your medical setting and those of your patients can help tremendously in freeing up your time so that you can better serve your patients on an individual basis. While many patients are rarely ill and visit only as recommended, others have more complicated issues that, in order to be addressed and treated sufficiently, require more time than the standard office visit typically allows. Knowing you now have some of your busy schedule freed up can allow you to provide that beside manner that is often missing in medical settings today.

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