Guest Column | January 4, 2012

Your EMR Might Not Be Enough

By HK Bain, CEO, Digitech Systems, Inc.

Did you know that the amount of digital information outgrew the world's ability to store it in 2007? This is a problem for healthcare providers who are not prepared to manage information electronically. John Gantz and David Reinsel, authors of an IDC report studying data growth said, "Some of the largest issues with this growing amount of unstructured data is not about how to store it, but instead, how to classify, search, and secure it…efficiently."

The federal government is pushing healthcare providers to do a better job of managing information. Regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the HITECH Act, which was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), mandate records control and the protection of personal health information. Despite these initiatives, more than 50% of healthcare organizations reported at least one privacy or security issue in the past two years. That amounts to a personal data breach every other day on average.

What should healthcare providers do as the amount of information spirals upward and government regulations mandate stricter controls? Enterprise Content Management (ECM) technologies can help improve information security for healthcare organizations, because they integrate many different types of records into an electronic format for more secure management, retrieval and distribution. Cloud-based ECM systems make it especially easy for smaller facilities that have limited capital budgets and fewer IT resources. Implementation for cloud-based systems is quick, giving healthcare providers immediate control over information and instantly easing the financial burden for records management.

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