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Tag: Data & Security

From Data to Action: Improving Your Campus Through Reporting

Wellness Reporting

In a society that values health and wellbeing more than ever, colleges and universities bear a significant responsibility to ensure the wellness of their students. One crucial component of this endeavor is the monitoring and reporting of services provided by these institutions. In this article, we delve deep into how to report on wellness services utilization.

Specifically, we will be discussing the impacts reporting can have on:

  • Student health clinics
  • Counseling centers
  • Immunization compliance management

The crux of any meaningful report is objective and accurate data. The utility of data in reporting cannot be overstated, as it forms the basis of the most insightful analyses and strategic decisions. The data sets visualized through reporting can offer holistic insights into health and counseling utilization patterns among students and can highlight specific groups of students, programs, or clinics that may need extra attention.

An effective EHR can interpret these data sets and unmask correlations and trends that might not be clear at first glance, thereby enabling colleges to make data-driven decisions to improve overall wellness strategy and the student experience.

Identifying Trends to Address Evolving Counseling Needs

Challenges such as academic stress, social anxiety, and depression call for effective counseling centers on campuses. Reporting on wellness service utilization can significantly improve the impact of counseling centers.

In addition to health screenings, counseling services data can provide valuable information on the mental health needs of students. By analyzing the number of counseling sessions conducted, the reasons for seeking counseling, and the outcomes of these sessions, colleges can better understand the mental health challenges faced by their students.

Reports can also highlight appointment wait times and session lengths. This data can then be used to allocate resources effectively, such as hiring more counselors or implementing outreach events. Lastly, real-time reports can flag any sudden increases in counseling needs, enabling swift institutional responses to pressing student needs.

With the increasing prevalence of mental health issues among students, it’s crucial for colleges and universities to closely monitor the demand for and usage of these services. By examining the trends in mental health service utilization, institutions can decide if their current resources are sufficient to meet the growing needs of their students. It’s imperative that colleges use reporting to address these critical issues.

The Transformative Role of Reporting in College Health Centers

College health centers are the first line of defense when it comes to student health issues. Therefore, making the health center as effective as possible should top the priority list of college leaders.

Detailed reports can reveal the number of students seeking medical care, the types of health concerns addressed, and the outcomes of these consultations, providing valuable insights.

Reports can also help figure out if there are any potential outbreak scenarios occurring on campus. By analyzing this data, colleges can track common health issues among students, such as respiratory infections or stress-related conditions, and develop proactive strategies to promote health and wellbeing. This can include initiatives like educational workshops, campus-wide health campaigns, or specialized clinics to address growing student health needs.

Moreover, the analysis of trends in wellness services utilization should not be limited to the student population alone. It is equally important to examine the utilization patterns among faculty and staff members if they have access to health services on your campus. By understanding the needs of the entire campus community, schools can tailor their services to meet these diverse needs.

In addition, it’s important to analyze utilization trends related to preventative health services. By examining trends in preventive healthcare, institutions can determine if their efforts to promote and provide a preventive approach to care are effective.

How Reports Help Paint a Picture of Immunization Compliance

Vaccination is a potent weapon in a college’s healthcare arsenal. Ensuring immunization compliance among students is necessary not just for individual health, but for community wellbeing. Advanced immunization reports can track vaccination rates and reveal trends in immunization compliance.

Moreover, immunization data is vital for preventing outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases and ensuring the health and safety of students, staff, and faculty. By identifying any gaps in immunization coverage, colleges can implement targeted vaccination campaigns to increase compliance and protect against potential health risks. Therefore, through effective reporting and analysis, colleges can aspire to achieve better immunization compliance and foster a healthier campus community.

Identifying Opportunities for Improvement in Wellness Services Utilization

Reports do more than just highlight the utilization of your wellness offerings; they also pave the way for necessary improvements. By identifying underutilized resources or services that fail to meet students’ needs, institutions can take proactive steps to improve campus-wide wellness.

These changes can involve better allocation of resources, increased awareness campaigns for lesser-used services, or a complete overhaul of certain wellness programs. Also, student feedback can be an incredible tool for helping campus leaders understand why certain services aren’t being used.

Key Takeaways

By leveraging this rich data and effectively visualizing and interpreting it, colleges can gain a comprehensive understanding of the impacts (and/or shortcomings) of their wellness offerings. This information empowers colleges, including clinic leaders, to make data-driven decisions that are tailored to the unique needs of their student population.

By addressing underutilized or ineffective wellness initiatives, colleges can optimize the allocation of resources and improve the overall quality of care and student experience. Ultimately, advanced reporting on the utilization of wellness services is a powerful tool that enables colleges to create healthier and more supportive environments for their students.

Ready to see the impacts that reporting can make on your campus? Connect with a member of our team.

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Safeguarding Student Privacy: How Electronic Health Records (EHRs) Bolster Security

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) have brought about a revolutionary transformation in the management of patient data within healthcare facilities. Not only do they provide a centralized platform for storing and accessing medical information, but they also offer a myriad of security features to safeguard sensitive data. In educational settings, EHRs play a crucial role in ensuring student privacy amidst growing concerns about data breaches and cyber threats. This article will delve into the intricacies of EHR security and explore how colleges can establish a secure environment for student health data.

Exploring the Security Features of EHRs

    1. Encryption

    One of the key advantages of EHRs is their advanced security infrastructure. These systems employ various measures to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access. Encryption, for instance, ensures that data is encoded and can only be deciphered by authorized personnel. This encryption process involves converting the original data into a cipher text, making it virtually impossible for hackers or unauthorized individuals to access and understand the information. This advanced level of data protection ensures that students’ records remain confidential and secure.

    2. Access Controls

    In addition to encryption, EHRs also implement access controls such as passwords and user authentication mechanisms. These measures add an extra layer of protection, limiting data access to authorized individuals only. Passwords are typically required to be complex, with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. This ensures that only authorized personnel with the correct credentials can access the system and view patient records. User authentication mechanisms, such as biometric identification or two-factor authentication, further enhance the security of EHRs by requiring additional verification steps to confirm the identity of the user.

    3. Role-Based Access Control

    Moreover, EHRs also employ role-based access control (RBAC) to ensure that users are granted access only to the information necessary for their roles. RBAC provides a granular level of control, allowing administrators to define specific permissions and restrictions for each user. This ensures that sensitive patient data is only accessible to healthcare professionals who require it for providing appropriate care. This can be especially important when managing the data shared between health and counseling clinics on campus. By implementing RBAC, EHRs minimize the risk of unauthorized access and inadvertent disclosure of sensitive information.

Mitigating Security Risks in EHRs

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) have revolutionized the healthcare industry by providing a secure and efficient way to store and access patient information. However, like any digital system, EHRs are not immune to vulnerabilities. It is essential for colleges and universities to take proactive measures to regularly assess and mitigate potential security risks to student data.

    1. Vulnerability Assessments

    One of the key steps in mitigating security risks in EHRs is conducting vulnerability assessments and penetration testing. These tests involve simulating real-world attacks to identify any weaknesses in the system. By proactively identifying vulnerabilities, healthcare organizations can take appropriate measures to address them before they are exploited by malicious actors.

    2. Keeping Software Updated

    In addition to vulnerability assessments, keeping EHR systems up to date with the latest security patches and software updates is crucial. Software vendors regularly release updates that include security fixes for known vulnerabilities. By promptly applying these updates, healthcare organizations can ensure that their EHR systems are equipped with the necessary defenses against emerging threats.

    3. Employee Training & Awareness Programs

    Regular staff training and awareness programs are also essential in mitigating security risks in EHRs. Health and counseling clinics should educate their staff about best practices for data security, such as the importance of not sharing passwords, recognizing phishing attempts, and reporting any suspicious activities. By fostering a culture of security awareness, colleges and universities can empower their employees to be vigilant and proactive in protecting student information. While EHRs provide enhanced security features, it is crucial for healthcare organizations to regularly assess and mitigate potential security risks.

Leveraging EHRs to Enhance Security Audits

  • EHRs can serve as a valuable tool in conducting security audits. By providing a centralized database of user activity and changes made to patient records, institutions can easily generate comprehensive audit reports. These reports can be used to identify any patterns of non-compliance, unauthorized access attempts, or potential breaches. This allows organizations to take proactive measures to rectify any issues and strengthen their security protocols.

The Role of HIPAA Compliance in EHRs

  • Adhering to the regulations set forth by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is crucial for maintaining the security and privacy of student health data. Take your students’ privacy a step further and go 100% paperless. EHRs should be designed and configured to comply with HIPAA standards, ensuring that data is stored and transmitted securely.comprehensive audit reports.

Key Takeaways

In conclusion, EHRs offer a multitude of security features that can help educational institutions ensure student privacy and protect sensitive health data. By exploring and utilizing these features, establishing a secure environment, and adhering to HIPAA compliance, institutions can mitigate the risks associated with data breaches and cyber threats. Embracing EHRs not only streamlines healthcare operations but also enhances the security and privacy of student health information.

Is your health clinic or counseling center in need of a secure EHR designed to prioritize student privacy? Schedule a demo with our team today!

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Managing Shared Data Between Health & Counseling Clinics

Managing Shared DataCollege health and counseling clinics are two important resources that play a significant role in the well-being of college students. However, there’s often a disconnect between these two entities. This can lead to incomplete information and lack of coordination in treating students who may need both physical and mental health care. Sharing data between college health and counseling clinics can help bridge this gap and improve overall student well-being.

One of the major challenges in sharing data between these two clinics is maintaining confidentiality and privacy. Students may be hesitant to share their personal health information if they feel it will not be kept confidential. Therefore, it’s critical to establish clear policies and procedures for sharing data and ensure that all staff members are trained on these policies.

Another challenge is the technical aspect of sharing data. Health and counseling clinics may use different electronic health record (EHR) systems, making it difficult to exchange data between them. One solution to this problem is to adopt a universal EHR system that can be used by both clinics. This would enable easy sharing of data and improve coordination of care.

Sharing data between health and counseling clinics can have many benefits for college students. For example, a student who is seeking treatment for depression may also have an underlying medical condition that could exacerbate their symptoms. If the health clinic has access to the student’s counseling records, they can make more informed decisions about the student’s care.

Similarly, a student who is seeking treatment for a physical ailment may be experiencing mental health challenges related to their condition. If the counseling clinic has access to the student’s health records, they can provide more comprehensive care and support.

Sharing data can also improve the efficiency of care. Rather than having students repeat their medical history and symptoms to multiple providers, clinicians can access a student’s complete health record and provide more targeted and effective care. This can reduce the time and resources needed to provide care, which can be especially important in busy college health and counseling clinics.

Additionally, sharing data can help identify patterns and trends in student health. For example, if the health clinic notices an increase in students reporting stress-related symptoms during midterms or finals, they can work with the counseling clinic to develop targeted interventions and support for students during these times.

Sharing data between college health and counseling clinics can improve the quality and coordination of care for college students. However, it’s important to establish clear policies and procedures for maintaining confidentiality and privacy, as well as addressing any technical barriers to sharing data. By working together, health and counseling clinics can provide more comprehensive and effective care to support the health and well-being of college students.

Interested in learning more about how your campus health solutions can become more integrated and impactful?  Connect with a member of our team.

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Why should your EHR Vendor and their Hosting Facility have SOC 2?

EHR Vendor SOC2

It seems everyone understands that a SaaS Hosting Facility must be certified at the highest current federal standards. But no-one seems to question why their EHR vendor, who has access to the same patient ePHI, hasn’t completed the same examinations.

This paper is provided to help explain why your EHR vendor should be examined by an independent third party, what SOC is, why Medicat chose the more rigorous Type 2 SOC 2 Examination on your behalf, and what that means to you.

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Why is SOC 2 Important to You?

Your EHR Vendor and their Hosting Facility should have SOC 2. It seems everyone understands that a SaaS Hosting Facility must be certified at the highest current federal standards. But no-one seems to question why their EHR vendor, who has access to the same patient ePHI, hasn’t completed the same examinations.

The following information is provided to help explain why your EHR vendor should be examined by an independent third party, what SOC is, why Medicat chose the more rigorous Type 2 SOC 2 Examination on your behalf, and what that means to you.

The short version is that the Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX) requires all publicly traded companies to establish internal controls and procedures for financial reporting to reduce the possibility of fraud. To properly conduct this financial statement examination, an audit must be performed for any organizations that affect the security or financials of the publicly traded organization. All such organizations should also be audited using SOC 1 (financial reporting) or SOC 2 (security reporting). The same holds true for privately held Hosting Facilities and their relationship with their clients (e.g., EHR vendors); both should pass audits at the highest Federal and Industry standards to ensure the security of your students’ ePHI.

What is SOC 2?

Service Organization Control (SOC) reports—created by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)—are internal control reports on the offerings furnished by a service organization, which provide important information for users to appraise the risks involved with an outsourced service. These reports are essential for service providers to build trust with clients, as they are performed by an independent third party.

SOC 2 reports focus on service providers that host or store data, ensuring that they are following industry best practices and their operations are up to code. The SOC 2 report contains a description of the infrastructure, software, people, and procedures (the “system”) that the company has in place to protect and safeguard data. A SOC 2 report contains descriptions of what components the company has and what it does to make sure it successfully delivers on the five Trust Service Principles.

  • Security – Information and systems are protected against unauthorized access, unauthorized disclosure of information, and damage to systems that could compromise the availability, integrity, confidentiality, and privacy of information or systems and affect the entity’s ability to meet its objectives.
  • Availability – Information and systems are available for operation and use to meet the entity’s objectives.
  • Processing integrity – System processing is complete, valid, accurate, timely, and authorized to meet the entity’s objectives.
  • Confidentiality – Information designated as confidential is protected to meet the entity’s objectives.
  • Privacy – Personal information is collected, used, retained, disclosed, and disposed to meet the entity’s objectives.

Service organizations can choose which type of SOC 2 audit to undertake: Type 1 or Type 2.

  • Type 1 SOC 2 report – a layout of procedures and controls that the service provider has established as of a certain point in time.
  • Type 2 SOC 2 report – includes all the information in Type 1, but also supplies evidence as to how effective those procedures and controls were over a specified period. The audit period in a Type 2 report is typically no less than six months—enough time for a comprehensive evaluation.

Why is it important for your EHR vendor to have SOC 2?

Type 2 SOC 2 compliance is an outstanding standard for business owners and decision makers because it provides them with the peace of mind that the service provider they choose can deliver what it promises.

A company that has performed Type 2 SOC 2 Examination has therefore proven that its system is designed to keep its clients’ sensitive data secure over time. When it comes to the cloud and related IT services, such performance and reliability is essential, and is being required more often by regulators, examiners, and auditors.

Medicat’s Hosted Solution

Medicat’s Private Cloud Infrastructure ensures the storage and handling of your students’ electronic Patient Health Information (ePHI) meets and exceeds all government and industry standards. There are two components of that infrastructure:

  • The TierPoint Hosting Facility where your students’ ePHI is stored. TierPoint’s Facilities in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park (RTP), and in Chicago, are both rated to the highest Federal and Industry Standards, including Type 2 SOC 2 Examination. Your student’s ePHI could not be safer.
  • Medicat’s significant investments in its own infrastructure and security framework to better protect our Clients’ ePHI. To substantiate that investment, Medicat has gone through the same third-party audit process as the leading data centers in the country and has completed Type 2 SOC 2 Examination.

Summary

These rigorous requirements provide an important level of confidence and comfort when considering a move to the cloud. It is critical to insist on an EHR partner that has achieved a level of security that meets these standards.

That is why SOC 2 audits matter, and why Medicat has invested in the highest compliance possible; the Type 2 SOC 2 Examination. After all, the security of your patients’ data depends on it!

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