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Protecting Your Child's PMI Online


child doctor visit PMI

The rise of the digital landscape has given the healthcare industry a significant boost. One of the areas in which this is most prevalent is in the maintenance and sharing of electronic medical records. However, it’s not unusual to find yourself wondering whether your child’s private medical information (PMI) is secure.


In some ways, it seems that putting personal data at risk is the price we pay for technological progress in healthcare. When physicians and hospitals have insufficient security protocols, your child’s PMI may be stolen by cybercriminalsor released accidentally. Yes, data sharing can result in more convenient and streamlined medical experiences. But, as more tech is introduced into the healthcare industry, it’s important to find ways to minimize the vulnerability of your child’s data.


Let’s explore some of the ways you can protect your child’s PMI online.

Maintain Healthy Habits

Some of the most effective ways to protect your child’s PMI online is to limit what gets uploaded in the first place. As such, it stands to reason that part of your efforts here should involve reducing the medical care your child needs. This can serve the double duty of both maintaining their data security and ensuring they have a healthier and happier experience.


This should involve steps that help maintain both the physical and mental health of your child. Make certain they get regular exercise surrounded by nature. Stick to regular bedtime routines and limit access to screens at night to ensure they get good quality sleep. Make sure they know that they can ask for help if they are experiencing tough emotions.


It’s also important to remember that there will be times they’re not with you. As such, you should give your child the tools to make healthy decisions for themselves while at school. Help them to understand the value of nutritional balance and pack healthy snacks for them each day. In some cases, it can be effective to provide small incentives and rewards to kids that demonstrate they’ve made healthy choices.

Research Your Child’s Medical Provider

It is, of course, almost impossible to avoid medical care for your child entirely. However, it’s important to remember that you have choices about who provides this care. Part of choosing the doctor who can provide the best quality care for your child is understanding who treats online PMI responsibly.


So, what should you be looking for? Most doctors store patient information electronically, with many doing so online to share with other essential medical service partners. 4 out of 5 physicians use certified electronic health record (EHR) platforms, which must maintain a high standard of security. Your first step is to check that your child’s physician is among this group.


However, your most important research comes from having direct discussions with doctors and facility administrators. Ask questions about how your child’s data is handled in line with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards. Establish whether you can opt out of any sharing with pharmaceutical partners and other parties.

Utilize In-person Care

Telehealth can be a valuable tool. It limits your child’s exposure to viruses in doctor’s offices and can make visits easier to incorporate into your family schedule. However, these appointments also mean your child’s PMI is being shared online. While doctors use secure networks, these aren’t invulnerable to breaches.


As such, it can be wise to utilize in-person care whenever practical. This can be challenging, as many parents have incorporated telehealth into their child’s routines. You may be among the many who provide your children with access to online therapy to help them address mental health challenges. However, recent revelations of companies like Better Help sharing data with Facebook can mean it’s imperative to switch to methods that limit the collection of online PMI.


Your child may find that transitioning to a new therapist can be challenging. They can experience complicated feelings around the process, so it’s important to reduce the disruption to their care as much as possible. Look for an in-person provider that can maintain the current care schedule. Take your child for a couple of initial visits to ensure they click with their new professional. Be patient and communicate openly with your child at all times. After all, you want to both limit access to their PMI and ensure they have the best experience.

Navigate the Cloud Mindfully

The cloud can be a useful way to store your family’s medical information. You can upload electronic records provided by your doctor and access them easily wherever you happen to be. This can be especially useful if your child needs unexpected treatment out of state or abroad. However, this does involve storing your child’s data online, so it’s important to use the cloud for PMI mindfully.


Firstly, be selective about the service you choose to use. Some cloud platforms are considered safer than others because they can afford to invest in the most robust security. Review information on the website about privacy and encryption protocols. Look for services that hold industry security certifications, such as those from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).


It’s also important to consider your own behavior when using the cloud, too. Make certain that you have strong passwords and opt in to multi-factor authentication. If you need to access your child’s stored PMI in public spaces, utilize a virtual private network (VPN) to create an additional barrier to cyber criminals.

Conclusion

Protecting your child’s PMI should be a priority in an increasingly tech-heavy medical industry. In some ways, this involves limiting access to their data. You can achieve this by maintaining healthy routines and using in-person medical professionals. It’s also vital to research your child’s healthcare providers to understand their protocols to prevent breaches. If you use the cloud to store PMI, choose a reliable service and maintain robust security behavior.


Tech is helping the medical industry to change for the better. Take steps to ensure your child has the most positive experiences as a result.

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