How Report Distribution Software Guards Protected Health Information

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IBM i Software Protecting Health InformationIn an earlier blog, I talked about how IBM i report formatting and distribution software can smooth out integration issues when small health care facilities affiliate with each other or large medical centers.

Report distribution software is also good at meeting day-to-day compliance challenges in the health care industry, including requirements from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and other legislation. There are many legal and compliance issues when distributing documents containing protected health information (PHI) that a good software package can help manage.

PHI document security

Besides compartmentalizing information for security, you can also shield sensitive report information through these easy-to-use features that are available in many report distribution packages.

  1. Transferring manual paper flow into electronic distribution. Manual paper flows for billing and patient management are unsecured, labor intensive, and require a lot of redundancy. Digitizing your paper files reduces forms handling and the number of forms that are physically generated, increasing compliance and reducing labor and printing costs.
  2. Sending or storing PHI-enabled reports as encrypted files. Patient-related documents can be encrypted and password protected to prevent unauthorized access. Customers and associates can quickly receive critical secured information via email as PDF files that can be accessed on any device.
  3. Menu security where you can lock down user access to sensitive options. You can specify who can and who cannot access options for viewing, printing or distributing protected data.
  4. Segmenting data by department. You can burst spooled file reports containing PHI data according to departmental needs and store those reports in special walled-off areas on your servers that are only accessible to a specific department or individual. Only people who need the data can see the data.
  5. Masking out sensitive information on converted or stored reports. Many software packages allow you to mask columns containing PHI data, enabling you to distribute reports without compromising sensitive information.
  6. Using software audit capabilities to search sent data and produce compliance reports. You can pull up audit reports detailing who received individual reports and when they received them. Report documentation software can also be configured to automatically archive sent files. This allows you to search sent reports for auditing, retrieval, or resending if the recipient needs a second copy of the report.
  7. Reformatting and subsetting PHI reports before sending. You can reformat spooled file data to rearrange or exclude information by department or recipient, without performing any additional programming. This allows you to easily change the look of a report by merging it with electronic forms, removing information, sorting the content in a different sequence, or otherwise personalizing the report for user needs.

Ease of implementation and low cost

Health care facilities don’t have unlimited budgets or resources for implementing solutions. And some commercially available solutions can be budget busters.

The good news is you can find an IBM i solution to fit virtually any budget, for smaller rural hospitals up to large medical centers. The best part about IBM i third-party software is that it’s known for being easy to install and configure, which helps for quick inclusion into an Electronic Health Records (EHR) system.

Interested in seeing how our software solutions can help your facility better manage compliance issues? Contact us today and let’s start a conversation!


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