The use of medical images as evidence in a court case has become a pre-requisite for cases constructed by personal injury, workers' compensation, and criminal attorneys. This digital evidence is subject to the same discovery standards as hard copy documents and photographs. As such, the attorney has to be prepared to share these digital images with opposing counsel as they prepare for trial. But since medical images are just compilations of electronic bits, subject to strict privacy law and only as good as the medical image viewer on which they are analyzed, medical images create a special transport and sharing challenge.
If you’ve ever thought of sharing medical images or any other Protected Health Information (PHI) using Dropbox, you have probably asked yourself: "Is Dropbox HIPAA compliant for medical imaging." Dropbox is one of the most popular file sharing services and is on millions of desktop computers around the world. But just because you use it for many of your other tasks, does not mean you should use Dropbox for medical image storage. Here are 4 reasons to be careful when using Dropbox as your medical imaging solution...
While most of the rest of the world is enjoying the benefits of sharing, mobile access, and consolidation of multi-location medical images, Australian health care providers have been left in the outback. The Australian Privacy Law at both the federal and state level, punctuated by the Federal Privacy Act 1988 last amended in 2012 and its Australian Privacy Principles, basically prohibit moving any type of medical record whether electronic or not, outside of the confines of the continent. This means that any medical image vendor would have to locate data storage exclusively within the country, with no risk of transport beyond its borders. This makes the investment required to create “cloud” based medical image storage much more expensive since it must be tailored specifically to these Australian guidelines. Most vendors have balked at these requirements.
So, you upgraded from a local onsite solution to the Cloud. That’s great! However, just because you made the transition to go digital, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to be cautious of how you manage patient records. While your package can no longer get lost in the mail, you are still vulnerable. Here’s what you need to know.
We now have the technology to unlock devices with our faces, but that doesn’t mean that we are immune to data loss as a result of poor image management. Here’s a question, how do you manage your patient medical images? Do you store them in a local hard drive, filing cabinet, image router, or onsite PACS? If you selected any of these options, it is likely that you are possibly one of many victims to data loss, and if not - you still have time to take the measures to protect your patient's private health information (PHI).