EMR Security Problem

Posted on November 11, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

On EMR Update a user posted an interesting security problem with their EMR software:

I was on our user’s forum reading about a security flaw in our EMR. There were some discussions about the ability to circumnavigate prescription privileges and have your staff write themselves narcotics. We couldn’t figure out if anyone had done anything like this in our office, so I had our IT guy spend some time in the system. He was able to determine that one of our staff members had in fact been printing out an old script that had been written in the past and manually faxing it to pharmacies around town. The problem with the software is that it lets you print out a script from a locked note, and it prints out with the present date so it can be filled!

Has anyone else had staff in their EMR get away with writing bogus prescriptions? If you don’t know, you may want to check your system. Obviously this is an intolerable situation. We are hoping our vendor will take this seriously for once and get it fixed quickly. Otherwise, we will be forced to look elsewhere for a replacement EMR that doesn’t have this issue.

I love this story, because it highlights a number of interesting things.

1. The challenge of creating a secure, usable, and effective EMR. It’s NOT easy.

2. How responsive will your EMR vendor be to end user requests?

3. What would it take for you to switch EMR software? Can you imagine?