How Do I Securely Store My Medical Records?

How Do I Securely Store My Medical Records?
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Storing medical information is tricky business. If you don’t have faith in the government’s My Health Record (a reasonable position to have), there are a variety of ways to store your secure data while letting others access it in case of emergencies.

You can store it locally on your computer or smartphone or sync it to your devices with a cloud storage service. Each option has its benefits and downsides, but they will all help you get at your medical information whenever you need it, and in a secure fashion.

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Store it in a Password Manager

Security and privacy are paramount when storing medical information, so store your records where you might store other sensitive information: a password manager.

Some password managers, like 1Password and LastPass, feature cloud storage options, letting you store images, documents, and other files with the rest of your sensitive online information.

Since password managers sync and encrypt your contents across devices, you’ll have your medical information wherever you are, and the ability to share it with whomever you’d like.

Store it In The Cloud

Password managers are a safe haven for delicate information, but if you want to share your records more easily, consider a secure cloud storage service. A cloud storage service like SpiderOak uses end-to-end encryption, ensuring your sensitive information is secure at every stage during its transfer.

You can create temporary, self-destructing links to share sensitive data with people. You’ll have to pay, the cheapest subscription will run you $US5 ($6) per month / $US59 ($74) per year, but will net you 150GB of secure storage on an unlimited amount of devices.

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  • So how do you actually get ahold of the information in the first place? Do I get it off my doctors system? and if so how would that work?

    • If you go to a public hospital, most will give you a printed discharge summary when you’re about to leave. This document is a summary of your visit to hospital. Scan this and keep it somewhere secure. Private hospitals are a bit different and you may or may not get one depending on how the hospital works (e.g. correspondence may go straight to your GP from the surgeon instead of from the hospital).

      With the information held in your doctor’s system, this is tricky as the information has been written for a doctor or nurses’ use; you’ll need their help to interpret the records. This is why the My Health Record has something called a Shared Health Summary: it’s a document that your GP can author that summaries info that’s helpful for other health care professionals and you can also read it. Caveat though that your GP’s practice software needs to support authoring one and they also need to spend time putting it together.

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