7 Key Points to Note Regarding Privacy & Data Security in Healthcare

7 Key Points to Note Regarding Privacy & Data Security in Healthcare
Healthcare has become a vast industry. Every organization today is using several healthcare tools and services to offer benefits to patients and physicians. Over the years, organizations have been providing healthcare benefits to patients and are improving their services. 

Digitization has helped healthcare professionals in several ways. It is helping in shaping the future of the healthcare industry. Healthcare has become a billion-dollar industry and is spread over nursing homes, research and development, clinical services, and more. It makes it easier for professionals and patients to connect easily. Digital records of medical history and medications could be recorded for a lifetime. There’s a lot of scope for digitization in the healthcare industry. 

While a few healthcare professionals still do not want to involve digitization in their field, others are educating people to avail of the benefit of digitization. But with digitization, there also comes a risk of records to get leaked. Protecting data in this industry is not easy. The organization must balance patient privacy while delivering better patient care

Healthcare data security is regulated in America and Europe, and the professionals know what things should be hidden and protected. It is providing several benefits to people; as a result, more organizations are using healthcare data management tools to grow their business. 

Also, if more people are using digitization services, the risk of data breaching is increasing day by day. So how could you control this? By following certain practices, any organization could protect its data from the untrusted environment. 

Medical Privacy - Maintaining the Confidentiality of Patient Records

Health privacy, or better known as medical privacy, is the practice of keeping patient’s records secure and confidential. It keeps the security of medical records (doctors and patients) and healthcare providers. Private hospitals are now using Hospital Management Software to improve their ROI. It focuses on the needs of hospitals and supports hospitals to enhance their performance.

If you haven’t implemented any software yet to improve your ROI, then take the help of the HIS vendor. It improves clinical care and the patient’s safety. Here are some factors that you should consider before choosing the HIS vendor. Keeping the data safe is a must for any healthcare organization. 

If you are into the healthcare industry but do not know how to keep the records safe, then follow the below tips and save your confidential data. 

Tips on How Could You Save Your Healthcare Data

1. Educate Staff

To keep the data safe: it is required that the healthcare staff should be educated about data security. Make sure they know how important it is to keep the patient’s data safe. Ensure that authorized users have access to confidential information. 

You could also create training programs to make them learn different healthcare services. Take some quiz and interactive sessions to train them in a more enjoyable form. While sometimes face-to-face training is required, other times, online education should be given. But most of all, training healthcare staff should be a priority of all organizations. 

2. Keep Mobile Devices Secure

Healthcare professionals also use smartphones to access information about their patients and their treatments going on. Mobile device security includes many security measures, including the use of passwords, encrypting data, and other mobile management data solutions. 

Ensure that you keep your device updated with the latest OS so that it could meet the defined criteria. If you have designed and developed the healthcare application of your organization, then keep it safe by limiting its access to a few members. 

3. Encrypt Data

Encryption is one of the most critical methods that should be implemented by healthcare organizations. It makes the data secure and makes it difficult for hackers or attackers to decipher the patient’s data. 

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) requires entities to ensure that data is secure and could be accessed by only authorized people. HIPAA rules are applied to healthcare clearinghouses, health plans, and to those providers that transfer health information electronically. Here’s how you could make your application HIPAA compliant

Encryption supports data integrity. It is one of the best-advanced technology that could be applied to every tech device that you use. Data encryption could also stop details from going live on the internet. Also, using data encryption for data security improves trust. It also allows companies to build trust and to solidify their reputation. 

4. Make the Best Usage of Data Controls

Data security controls information against unauthorized use. It minimizes or avoids security risks and slows down the malicious attack on data. 

Data security is playing an important role in modern technology when all the data records are kept in electronic form. It involves administrative and operational controls. Technical controls are executed by computer systems and protect against misuse. 

Security Systems, also known as INFOSEC, refers to the process that is involved in maintaining the confidentiality of information. It also involves access control and prevents unnecessary information from being entered into the system by unauthorized people. 

5. Connected Devices Risks

In today’s world, every device is connected to some of the other networks. Be it a tablet or smartphone: these devices are accepting data of all forms. Devices like a blood pressure monitor, X-ray machines, and other devices could be connected to the phone to check the results instantly. 

To keep the devices safe, ensure that they are connected to a separate network. Use strong authentication whenever possible. Disable unnecessary services before using them. Also, it is recommended to keep the device up-to-date to implement new trends without any delay. 

6. Conduct Frequent Assessments

Conducting frequent assessments helps you to track the errors (if any). It could identify the weakness of healthcare organizations and shortcomings in training. By evaluating risk factors, the organization could identify risk and could reduce them. 

What’s amazing is this also avoids costly data breaches and other damages that might happen to healthcare organizations. Identify hazards by conducting assessments and know who all could be harmed. 

Make a record of the errors found and take action to eliminate them. This could help you in the future. Lastly, review the risk assessment and ensure that best practices are applied to achieve work targets. 

7. Take Backup

A cyber attack alone is not responsible for the data breach. Sometimes, natural disasters impact healthcare organizations and damage the records if they are not stored properly. Therefore, backups are recommended. Offsite data backups are an important part of disaster recovery. It could be done in two ways.

Physical backup is done by copying important files from onto a hard drive and storing them to another location. Remote backup is done by keeping the files and data on the server. This type of backup is referred to as cloud backup. Keeping the hospital information system on cloud offers several benefits. This provides security, reliability, and most importantly, flexibility. 

Offline backups also reduce workload and are easy to set up. They are secure and save money. If you are into the industry where the remote backup is compulsory, then offline backup could help you in several ways. Several technical issues should be considered when preventing data against data breaching. This might include data loss prevention software, disc encryption software, logging software, management software, and others. 

Importance of Data Protection in Healthcare

Healthcare is adopting the latest trends at a rapid rate. The most crucial part of the HIS is the Electronic Health Record, where all the information related to patients is stored. Moreover, several healthcare mobile applications are used by healthcare organizations to improve patient care and their services. 

Mobile applications have become a crucial part of everyone’s lives. Looking at the latest upgrades in the use of healthcare applications, the importance of data security can’t be overlooked. These applications are used by healthcare professionals and patients to monitor their health performance. Digitization has enhanced healthcare services and made it efficient to use. 

Information security breaches have affected over 25 million patients. The data added in the organization could include the patient’s name, address, medical records, phone number, date of birth, and other important information. Stealing these credentials could affect someone’s identity. 

Medical facilities have a threat from hacking, virus, and sometimes from employees who are illiterate or want to steal records. In the past years, over 80% of healthcare organization breaches happened due to malware attacks. Therefore, IT solutions in every industry are essential and should be developed to provide maximum security. 

Final Words

According to reports, the criminal attacks have increased by over 130% since 2012, and it also represents the main cause of the data breaches. Also, some organizations do not care to protect the patient’s data and to stay updated with the latest trends. 

If you are new to the healthcare industry, then make sure that you implement strong security measures to protect everyone’s data from several threats. Also, make sure that you remind your staff why securing data is important for everyone and medical practice.
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