RACGP eHealth Forum
The annual RACGP eHealth Forum is a key calendar event for the RACGP Expert Committee – eHealth and Practice Systems, bringing together leaders in eHealth, general practice and government. The 2017 eHealth Forum was held on 23 November and the event generated robust and stimulating discussions on the current state of eHealth in general practice and has provided clear direction for the work of the committee in 2018.
Highlights from the event are available via the eHealth Forum website.
Privacy in General Practice
By Rob Hosking, Deputy Chair, RACGP Expert Committee – eHealth and Practice Systems
General practices are required to comply with the Australian Privacy Principles and other legislation such as the Privacy Act. As many of us move into a fully electronic online environment, it is vital we protect the privacy of our patients’ information.
Information back up in general practices
By Nathan Pinskier, Chair, RACGP Expert Committee – eHealth and Practice Systems
Failure to back up your practice data is a very costly risk that is not worth taking. The medico-legal implications for your business and your patients may be severe, not to mention the financial, medical, professional and personal implications. Every GP probably has a story of an actual or near miss experience when it comes to loss of medical records. One general practice in NSW was affected by a power outage where the Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) did not shut down the system correctly. The practice lost 3 days of patient and business data which may not seem significant, but resulted in expenses in the tens of thousands of dollars.
If we hark back to the days of paper files, risks of data loss included fires, floods and break-ins. While we can now protect our data from such hazards in the current digital age, new risks and vulnerabilities emerge including unexpected power outages, computer hacking and viruses. To combat these new risks, routine data backup must become a part of effective practice management.
There are three main types of data back-up:
- Local or direct-attached hardware
- Network back-up using a local server
- Cloud storage
Be sure to familiarise yourself with the RACGP’s Guide to information backup in general practice.