New York warehouse fire shows importance of EHRs

New York warehouse fire shows importance of EHRs

A recent warehouse fire in Brooklyn, New York, showed just how crucial the use of electronic health records are. The storage facility contained decades of personal files, including court transcripts and medical information, which ended up being strewn around the city. Many of the files in the debris, which is still being found all over nearby neighborhoods, had information like bank account and social security numbers clearly printed on them, reported The New York Times. 

While many of the documents were permanently lost in the disasters, hospitals including North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, Mount Sinai Health System, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and NYU Langone Medical Center and all of the Greater New York Hospital Association had back-up files of patient data stored in electronic medical records. These organizations count themselves as lucky for avoiding a total loss, and admit that were it not for electronic health records their patient care would have been greatly affected. 

EHRIntelligence acknowledged that while electronic security breaches continue to be a concern among those wavering on electronic health record adoption, accidents like this demonstrate just how fragile physical files are. Storing information on electronic systems means they can be accessed from a number of devices, protecting them from disasters.