One of the benefits of having an optical EHR is the ability to store, access, and transmit patient data quickly and securely. But the terminology surrounding this functionality can be a little confusing, especially if you aren’t familiar with some of the acronyms used to explain it. So we’ve put together a quick rundown of the acronyms you ought to know when it comes to the data in your EHR.
Optical EHR Data Security Acronyms To Memorize
CCD: Continuity of Care Document
A CCD is a document that any certified EHR must be able to generate. It allows you to securely communicate medical information to another healthcare provider through a registered email address. You can also send a CCD to a patient, usually through a patient portal, where they will be able to print, download, and save the file for future use.
EHR: Electronic Health Record
We’ve mentioned the difference between an EHR and an EMR before, but we’ll go over each one again quickly here. An EHR is, simply put, an electronic version of each of your patient’s health records. Rather than storing paper files in cabinets around your office, you can store the information in the EHR software. Most importantly, an EHR allows patient information to be shared easily and securely across healthcare specialties for a more cohesive healthcare experience.
EMR: Electronic Medical Record
An EMR, on the other hand, is a medical record for one patient from one provider. For example, you would have an EMR for Patient X, and Patient X’s primary care physician would in turn have their own EMR for the same patient. Although EMR’s allow you to track data over time, the information in an EMR doesn’t easily transfer out of your office to other doctors and clinics, like an EHR does.
HIE: Health Information Exchange
In a nutshell, HIE is the link that allows your EHR to connect with other EHRs to share information electronically while maintaining the confidentiality, privacy, and security of the information. HIE can refer to both the actual act of electronic information sharing, or the organization that provides services that enable the electronic sharing.
HIT: Health Information Technology
HIT is the over-arching term for any electronic management of health information and the secure exchange of that information between patients, providers, government entities, and insurers. When using an EHR or communicating with patients through a patient portal, you are employing HIT.
HIPAA: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
HIPAA is an act, passed in 1996, that mandates the standards for healthcare information, electronic billing, and the confidentiality of how health information is handled. It’s a set of rules and regulations the providers, clearinghouses, and health plans must follow.
VPN: Virtual Private Network
A VPN is a way to securely connect two computers (or servers) in order to access data from one computer (or server). Basically, this gives you remote access to your system, even when you are out of the office.
Want to learn all the industry terms and acronyms regarding practice management and EHR software? Download our Complete Dictionary.