Ten Techniques for Safeguarding Healthcare Information

Healthcare organizations, such as hospitals, must be mindful of preserving sensitive patient data, such as medical records, financial information, and other personal information. Ensuring data security necessitates a combination of staff training, the smart application of technology, and the physical security of the premises. Here is a compilation of the ten most significant techniques for healthcare data security:

1. Safeguard the network

To guard against intrusions, healthcare institutions must employ a range of tools for protection. Still, many organizations are overinvesting in firewall and virus-protection software, whereas specialists suggest they also invest in technologies that can restrict the harm caused by breaches.

Organizations can take steps to help protect their data by isolating networks, meaning that if someone were to gain access to one area, they would not be able to access all of the data stored within the organization.

2. Train personnel

Given that personnel may be the cause of either accidental or intentional healthcare data breaches, employee training must be an integral part of any IT security program. This should cover topics such as:

Learning the difference between what is and isn’t an infringement of HIPAA
Instruction on circumventing phishing, social engineering, and other assaults that are aimed at personnel, and
Tips on selecting strong passwords.

Making use of a variety of resources can be beneficial when it comes to learning. Such resources may include textbooks, online sources, and other materials. Drawing on a wide range of materials can make the learning experience more interesting and provide a greater level of understanding. Using multiple resources also helps to ensure that all relevant information is taken into account.

3. Secure mobile gadgets

In the last few years, several security incidents have taken place due to the lack of encryption of portable computing or storage devices that have sensitive health information. Healthcare organizations should make sure to deploy encryption on all types of devices that can contain patient data, such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, and USB drives.

It is essential to have a rigorous policy to prevent staff from taking any data on their unsecured personal devices, in addition to furnishing workers with encrypted gadgets.

4. Safeguarding one’s wireless networks

Organizations are turning more and more to wireless routers to power their office networks, yet this approach can be a liability when it comes to security. For instance, if the technology used is out of date, like routers using the Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) security standard, which is 12 years old, it can be easy to access data from the parking lot by hacking into the network.

Healthcare providers should remain vigilant to defend against any attacks by keeping their routers and other related devices updated, ensuring that network passwords are complex and regularly rotated, and blocking any unauthorized devices from connecting to the network.

5. Put in place physical security measures

Despite an increasing prevalence of electronic health records, organizations continue to store copious amounts of confidential data on paper. As a result, providers should guarantee all doors and filing cabinets are secure, and that appropriate physical security measures such as cameras are employed.

6. Create a policy for mobile devices

Organizations must craft a mobile device policy to manage the data that healthcare employees store on their own devices and decide which applications can be installed.

7. Remove unneeded data

Organizations should have a policy in place requiring them to delete any healthcare data that is no longer necessary. This is something that many people who have experienced data breaches have learned from their unfortunate experience; the larger the quantity of data stored, the more attractive it is for criminals to target.

By auditing the data periodically, organizations will know the information kept and will be able to see what can be discarded.

8. Assess the security of outsiders

The past few years have seen a marked surge in the use of cloud computing, with mobile devices as a close second in terms of IT trends. Cloud-based services allow smaller businesses to benefit from the same technologies as their larger counterparts, making them more accessible due to the reduced initial costs associated with deployment.

Nevertheless, there are several risks associated with allowing third parties access to data. It is essential, then, that organizations meticulously check the security of cloud computing vendors or other third parties they are in contact with.

9. Repairing of electronic medical equipment

Healthcare organizations are exposed to some of the same IT security risks as other industries, but they have an extra hazard to consider: the risk of the data on electronic medical devices, such as pacemakers and monitors, being accessed illegally. To reduce the possibility of this occurring, ensure the software on these devices is consistently updated and patched.

10. Have an action plan for data breach

No organization can guarantee the prevention of all IT security issues, which is why it is essential to have a plan in place in case of a data breach in the healthcare sector.

Get in Touch with CMIT Solutions Austin Central

We provide progressive, precise, and cost-effective outsourced clinical documentation. Our solutions are adjustable, incorporating services and technologies like computer-assisted coding, automated transcription, and speech recognition to guarantee accuracy in your clinical documentation regardless of the size of your organization.

Get Expert Aid from CMIT Solutions Austin Central to Put Shielding in Place for Your Records!

For Austin Health Providers, CMIT Solutions offers a secure file-sharing system that employs advanced security measures to protect the integrity of the documents.

Call us now! Dial (512) 642-5457 or contact us through our website

Back to Blog