Electronic Health Records: A Literature Review of Cyber Threats and Security Measures

Electronic Health Records: A Literature Review of Cyber Threats and Security Measures

Donna S. McDermott (Robert Morris University, Moon, USA), Jessica L. Kamerer (Robert Morris University, Moon, USA) and Andrew T. Birk (Robert Morris University, Moon, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/IJCRE.2019070104


Electronic health records (EHRs) pose unique concerns for administrators and information technology professionals with regard to cybersecurity. Due to the sensitive nature and increasing value of personal health information, cyber risks and information protection should be a high priority. A literature review was conducted to identify potential threat categories and best practices in protecting EHR information. Potential threats were identified and categorized into five areas; physical, portable devices, insider use, technical, and administrative. Government policies have created administrative, physical, and technical safeguards to keep EHR information safe. Despite these efforts, EHRs are being targeted by cyber-criminals due to flaws in personal and organizational management of protected healthcare information. This paper aims to educate, inform, and advocate for the proper handling of EHRs to alleviate the burden caused by compromised electronic documents.
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Method Of Literature Review

The databases of PubMed (Medline), CINAHL, and ProQuest were used to conduct literature searches regarding cybersecurity concerns related to electronic health records (EHR) with various inclusion and exclusion criteria. Search criteria were limited to blinded peer reviewed scholarly articles published in English since 2011.

Key terms used in the search were: electronic health record, cybersecurity, security, electronic medical record, and private health information. The search yielded an initial sample of 67 articles. Each article was screened by the authors for relevance to the objective. Since very little research has been conducted on this subject, a decision was made to also include informational articles and position papers. Twenty-two papers were reviewed by the research team to determine the top threats to EHR security and literature based recommendations to address or prevent cyber threats.

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