Performing an OP Client-Server Risk Assessment

It is important to perform a risk assessment on all EHR-related items configured on your office network since they utilize confidential data. Performing standard, periodic risk assessments and audits on your network helps contain and prevent a security breach of confidential data. Anything that works with and runs the OP software could potentially contain or manipulate confidential data. Unfortunately, due to various hardware, peripheral, and software configurations at each client location, we cannot provide a blanket step-by-step procedure for performing your own risk assessment. It is up to your IT representative/department to determine the optimal security configuration at your location(s). However, we can list the privacy and security safeguards that must be maintained with the OP software for a client-server environment.

The privacy and security safeguards are:

  • The OP software database must be password protected at all times. This includes the live production database and the backup files. It is the Practice's responsibility to maintain the security of its hardware that runs the OP software. This includes hardware- or software-level encryption and secure storage of any Protected Health Information (PHI).
  • Traffic between the OP application and the database is not encrypted. This traffic is occurring within a local network that should be locked down and secured by the Practice.
  • The OP software does not store PHI on the end-user's local device (e.g., storing temp files, cookies, or other types of cached data) when the EHR application shuts down under normal conditions (that is, when the application is successfully shut down manually). When the system is shut down manually, the OP software deletes the entire data cache after normal program termination. Because the OP software does not store any PHI locally on the end-user's device after the application is shut down, it is not necessary to encrypt this information.
  • Reports and documents containing sensitive information can be exported or printed to a local drive from the OP application via the main application or the database viewer. These reports and print jobs are user generated (e.g., a billing report or PDF copy of the chart records). It is recommended that only people with the proper security knowledge be given access to the OP Database Viewer and that audits be performed periodically to locate any PHI information on local drives.