The healthcare industry is changing rapidly. Technology and the use of digital tools are transforming how patients receive care, from where they receive it to how often and for what reasons. This change has also created new challenges for organizations that must keep pace with rapid innovation. The good news is that we have solutions available to help healthcare organizations navigate these challenges successfully.
In this article, we’ll tackle some of the most common cybersecurity challenges in healthcare and how to address them. We’ll look at the role technology plays in ensuring patient safety, as well as discuss how you can leverage it to improve efficiency in your workflows.
Choose the Right Software Tools for Maximizing Efficiency in Healthcare
How can you use automation and technology to drive efficiency? The answer may be as simple as using software that allows your employee’s or patients’ caregivers to access information from anywhere at any time. This type of tool could save money by reducing travel costs for doctors who visit patients at home or hospitals that send them letters about upcoming appointments instead of having staff drive around town giving out paper forms along with other documents needed during office hours.
By allowing your employees to access patient information from anywhere, you can also increase the quality of care and patient satisfaction. This is especially important when it comes to home visits by doctors or nurses who can provide immediate treatment in case of an emergency.
However, remote access does come with challenges and risks. Therefore, security tools are used to detect and prevent malicious activity on a network, including:
- malware attacks
- denial-of-service (DoS) attacks
- privacy violations such as theft or loss of PHI through improper disposal of equipment after use
- intentional acts such as fraudulently obtaining PHI for purposes other than treatment without authorization from the patient’s health plan sponsor or provider organization
- unauthorized access by employees while performing their job duties within your organization’s network infrastructure or applications, and many others.
Therefore, all healthcare providers need to be aware of the dangers of technology and how to protect their data.
Ensuring Data Security and Prioritizing High-Quality Care: Tips and Strategies
Today, healthcare organizations need to be able to use technology to deliver high-quality care while protecting patient data and avoiding unnecessary expenses. With the proliferation of mobile devices and the increasing reliance on electronic medical records (EMR), it is more important than ever for hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities to have a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy.
The risks posed by cyberattacks are widespread and vary depending on how your organization stores or transmits sensitive information. Cybersecurity is a growing concern in healthcare. While cyber-attacks have been around for years, they are becoming more sophisticated and present a significant threat to the industry. For instance:
- You might lose access to your EMR if hackers compromise a server or device containing patient records.
- Your network may become vulnerable when malware penetrates an unauthorized device connected through Wi-Fi.
- If you allow employees’ personal devices onto the network without encryption protection enabled — which many fail at doing – you could expose them not only directly but also indirectly through their use of those devices during their daily routines such as entering passwords into websites where confidential data is stored, etc.
In healthcare, cybersecurity is a vital part of the overall patient experience. And, since cyberattacks can cause financial loss, reputational damage and loss of patient data, governments across the globe establish and improve regulations that aim at protecting healthcare records and personal data.
The most renowned laws and regulations regarding healthcare data protection are:
California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
The CCPA requires businesses to disclose how they collect and use personal information about customers. It also gives customers control over certain types of data collection by requiring companies to obtain consent before collecting sensitive information such as health records or credit card numbers.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
The HIPAA security rules require that covered entities maintain appropriate physical and technical safeguards to protect electronic Protected Health Information (PHI). Covered entities must also implement policies and procedures to ensure that PHI remains secure from unauthorized use or disclosure.
HIPAA applies to all forms of electronic communication, including email, text messaging, and social media. It requires healthcare providers and their staff to take steps to ensure that patient information is kept private.
Among other, more recent regulations aimed at curbing the misuse of consumer data by tech companies is Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR covers all information deemed personal and is not limited to healthcare records solely. It envisages legal liability for all the organizations that operate within the EU zone and those outside it but have access to the EU citizen’s data, i.e., partners to the European organizations.
Cloud solutions for healthcare data security
Cloud computing has the potential to revolutionize healthcare, improving patient outcomes and reducing costs. However, many hospitals and health systems are struggling with how to integrate cloud technology into their existing IT infrastructure. One of the biggest challenges they face is complying with new privacy regulations without compromising on data security standards.
The cloud can help you meet regulatory compliance requirements for data security. The following are some of how this is accomplished:
- Data is encrypted. The data stored in the cloud is secured from unauthorized access by encryption, which scrambles it so that only authorized users can read it.
- Data is stored in multiple locations and backed up regularly. This ensures that if one location fails or becomes inaccessible due to a natural disaster or other circumstances beyond your control, there will still be copies available elsewhere so your organization can continue operating without interruption until repairs are made or another site becomes available for use.
The challenges of moving to cloud-based infrastructure for healthcare organizations are no different than those faced by any other organization. You must be careful with your security and data, while also ensuring that your software development is up to date and working properly. So, how can developers better integrate applications with cloud platforms in healthcare?
Developers should use open-source frameworks and programming languages that are compatible with cloud platforms. They should also use cloud-based services, platforms, and tools to build applications that can be easily integrated into the healthcare system’s infrastructure.
Technology is a powerful tool for healthcare providers, but it can also be a threat to patient privacy and security. As you can see from the examples above, many different types of data need to be protected. HIPAA and other regulations help ensure that all parties involved in healthcare have proper policies in place so that they know what they need to do with their information and how much access they should give out.
Ensuring that patient data is key to successful cooperation between a healthcare provider and a patient. If you have doubts regarding the safety of your client’s data, our experts can help you figure out what steps your organization shall take to improve your data security policies.
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