Many industries value the privacy of their clients a great deal and the healthcare industry is not an exemption. The safety of the sensitive information and details of their patients is critical to the overall sustainability of the organization’s growth. Moreover, all healthcare employees are expected to comply with the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations.
In this day and age, professionals within the healthcare system now rely on healthcare data security solutions to enable them to keep the information and record of their patients confidential. This is a massive improvement from the previous system of tucking away such patient details in manila envelopes and then in stashing them a secure cabinet.
In case you are wondering what healthcare data security is; well, you don’t have to worry. In this article, we will not only tell you what it is, but we will also tell you why it is important.
However, before we go into all that, you need to understand what data security is first. Hence, that will be our first port of call.
Data Security Explained
This refers to any process used to secure digital information from illegal or unauthorized access. This system is used in many industries to protect the confidentiality of information.
With such a solution in place, the information of the organization is protected against breaches, cyber-attacks as well as other security issues.
Some of the practices used in this solution include data masking, data encryption, disaster recovery, and tokenization.
These technology practices alone cannot ensure the protection of sensitive particulars without the compliance of the user. Hence, the user must also adhere to security and privacy practices.
What Medical Care Data Security is
This solution refers to the process used to secure medical and research records of patients and medical institutions from being accessed by unauthorized or illegal personnel.
This security solution when used in the medical field is a more reliable method of protecting sensitive information from getting into the hands of unwanted persons. Hence, it protects patient information from theft, terrorism, cybercrime, and even natural disasters (leaked research).
Why Should a Healthcare Organization have Information Security?
A major worry in the healthcare industry is data breaches. According to the HIPPA Journal, 70 breaches of over 500 records were reported in just July 2021. From August 1st, 2020 to July 31st, 2021, 706 breaches of over 500 records were reported. You can visit https://www.hipaajournal.com/july-2021-healthcare-data-breach-report/ to read the full report.
The above report reveals the severity of the problem as hackers are looking for all means to gain access to the details of patients.
It becomes all the more important to secure patient details when you discover the amount it takes to recover and repair a breach. An average institution will spend about $500 for each record that is compromised.
The time required to recover that information (at least 236 days for an average institution) when put into consideration can significantly affect patient trust in the organization. Hence, it is vital for these organizations to set up solutions that will prevent the exposure of such sensitive information.
As we mentioned earlier, having this solution in place is mandatory by the HIPAA to ensure that patient records are protected. When setting up such a security solution, you need to ensure that it complies with the rules set by HIPAA.
According to the HIPAA rules, all healthcare organizations are mandated to do the following:
- Evaluation of security measures via frequent risk assessments.
- Execution of risk management packages to deal with information vulnerabilities.
Why is the Healthcare Industry Prone to Higher Digital Attack Risks?
The following reasons are why the health industry is prone to higher digital attack risks:
1. The Value of Patient Information
Unknown to many folks, medical background is very valuable and profitable among hackers. Such information when accessed can be sold quickly online and at a profitable price.
2. Several Medical Digital Devices Usage
The medical field is one of the industries that make use of several digital devices. Mobile technology is often used these days by patients and medical professionals for information exchange. While they are efficient, they can easily be hacked.
3. Remote Workers
It is no secret that working remotely has become a new reality in our present day. Check out this article to find some amazing statistics about remote workers. Since work is done remotely even by medical professionals, the risk for cyber-attacks also increases.
4. Busy Schedule of Medical Professionals
Medical professionals are one of the busiest bunch on the planet. Some of them deal with so much workload that they rarely have time for themselves. Adding protection practices to the already overwhelming workload might make many organizations fail in implementing these security practices as required.
In the article above, we have discussed medical care data security and why every medical organization must have such a solution in place.