In light of the recent medical record breach involving Mayor Rob Ford’s medical records at two Toronto-area hospitals, it brings healthcare data security into question, particularly for hospitals still processing paper files.

It’s never a good thing when a patient’s healthcare record is accessed by an individual outside of a patient’s care team but those hospitals using an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system can at least track these occurrences and deal with the issue as soon as a breach is detected.

Hospitals lagging in content management for their medical records on the other hand, may never know who is accessing paper files, as there’s no way to track when a document has been accessed, and by whom.

It begs the question: Who has accessed which files and for what purpose? Have the records in your healthcare facility been accessed unlawfully? You’ll never know without being able to track a documents lifecycle.

This is where ECM comes in. With a content management system within your hospital, administrators are able to look and see exactly how a document is being accessed and can address breaches if and when they happen. ECM systems won’t be able to stop the moral and ethical misconduct of an employee looking up records within the system, but it will at least be able to detect the misconduct. With paper files, breaches are almost always undetectable.

Sure, security will always be an issue, even with the use of an ECM system in place, but wouldn’t you rather know than not know who has been looking at patient records?