Healthcare providers are increasingly turning to technology to improve their services and reduce costs. But with ever-rising security vulnerabilities and a growing patient population, the industry is under more than enough pressure to ensure patient data stays protected. Examples of data breaches that have occurred in recent years, including the United States Office of Personnel Management breach, the Anthem data breach, and the theft of patient personal information at the Salt Lake City VA Medical Center, have shown healthcare providers that they need to keep a close eye on what they are doing so they can reduce the risk of exposure and theft of their patient data.
Healthcare data breaches are becoming more frequent, and the consequences can be severe. Healthcare data breaches are estimated to cost an average of $410 million annually, which is one of the most pricey industry sectors to be breached. Healthcare breaches are on the rise, and they cost the industry billions of dollars. However, it is not just about money. If the healthcare firm is HIPAA compliant (those interested to learn more about it can get in touch with a reputed HIPAA Compliance Consultant), such a data breach can put their licenses at risk. This is why taking every action possible to save data from getting leaked is imperative.
So here are 5 Ways To Reduce The Risk of Healthcare Data Breach.
- Check the security risks
Healthcare data is a major concern for all of us who work in healthcare. Whether you are a doctor or a patient, healthcare data is of great value to others who want to use it for their gain. Sometimes it can be used for good, but most of the time, it can be used for bad. Some of the methods to protect healthcare data have been established in the past and can be followed to reduce the risk of healthcare data being compromised.
Healthcare data breaches (i.e., the hacking of protected computers) are becoming more common. More than 4 million residents in the United States have had records compromised. And just last year, the largest healthcare data breach in history was discovered. According to experts, the number of data breaches in the U.S. is expected to double every year. Due to these cases, it’s necessary that you invest in managed IT services in Lincoln or elsewhere to make sure that no data is breached.
- Limit the accessibility to health records
It’s always easy to talk about the dangers of a healthcare data breach – but the reality is that the majority of today’s healthcare data breaches are preventable. The healthcare industry is always on the lookout for ways to make patient information more secure. One of the most notable threats to patient privacy and confidentiality is the abuse by malicious hackers of electronic health records, which contain personal health information.
- Avoid using out-of-date IT infrastructure
The past few years have seen a rapid increase in the use of cloud computing and the internet of things. Despite this progression, many IT professionals are still unaware of the risks of using outdated IT infrastructures. Healthcare IT is rapidly becoming a commodity industry. You see these companies popping up all the time, offering something for $1,000 a year, plus a few thousand more for the hardware. But you know what? They have nothing to offer. They have no experience in the industry and no ability to design and build a proper IT infrastructure. They use outdated operating systems and are filled with outdated security and monitoring tools. So, a better decision would probably be to consult with cyber security companies in Denver or elsewhere who have the expertise to handle all your IT infra as well as security needs (and with the latest tech, too).
- Encrypt the data
The health industry is growing at breakneck speeds, and so are the number of health information products and data breaches. The latest violation of this data came from OCR (Optical Character Recognition) firm Dicom, which was hit by unauthorized access of a heap of medical records. The data breach was troubling to the medical community because these records contain the personal information of the patients, some of which are sensitive. The impact of the data breach is still unknown, but if the data has been breached, it’s important to know how to safeguard your data against unauthorized access.
- Invest and prioritize security
Health data breaches are becoming more common and often have serious consequences. They can lead to identity theft, loss of sensitive medical information, lost services and lowered employee productivity. Most people would never think of a nurse as computer literate. Still, it’s a fact of life that more and more medical professionals are using computers to access patient information and make decisions about their care. Accessing and handling patient data can be dangerous, especially if the wrong people get their hands on it.
Healthcare is a large industry, and many companies help healthcare providers meet the needs of their patients. However, as the industry grows, its vulnerability to data breaches increases. While there are many protections in place to prevent the loss of sensitive patient data, the truth is that data breaches still happen.