Medical data security solutions available today vary by price and complexity.
Advancements in information technology (IT) have replaced traditional healthcare records, making it easier than ever to store and access patient data. However, these advancements also carry a risk of data breaches. It’s alarming to note that the cases of healthcare data breaches have risen considerably in the last decade.
Securing patient data is not just a matter of legal compliance; it’s also critical. Secure storage of patient data can impact the prevention and spread of disease. Whereas patients rely on their medical providers to keep their health information safe, the realities of healthcare today make implementing best practices around data security a constant challenge.
A rapidly evolving technological landscape demands continuous changes in data security provisions and legal requirements. This makes it difficult for healthcare providers to ensure their systems are always compliant, making room for lapses that can lead to data breaches.
Data breaches often lead to huge losses from legal fees and damages paid in class suits. You must, therefore, place a premium on your patient’s data integrity and security. Below we look at some ways of safeguarding medical data and why medical data security is essential.
Complying With Medical Data Security Standards
The healthcare industry is undoubtedly a massive sector anywhere in the world. Further, the amount of sensitive information that doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals handle daily is staggering. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities must secure clients’ personal information to prevent all avoidable data breaches.
Although encrypting data is a common remedy, it’s not enough to protect your organization from cybercrime. The best way around this is to employ robust security auditing and compliance solutions. Auditing tools help identify and prevent security vulnerabilities before hackers can exploit them. However, this task can be complicated when choosing from numerous solutions available on the market.
Every healthcare institution needs solutions that work well with its existing infrastructure. Such solutions must be able to access every part of your network to provide accurate results quickly. In addition, medical data security solutions should be easy to use and customizable to your specific needs, allowing you more control of your systems.
Data breaches can result in costly legal action against your business. Medical practitioners must be aware of their responsibilities under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The HIPAA requires healthcare professionals to take reasonable steps to protect patient information.
According to a data breach report, the average cost of healthcare data breaches reached an all-time high of USD$10.1 million per incident in 2021. These are costs you want to avoid by all means.
To avoid such charges, you must be thoroughly familiar with the legal requirements concerning patient information protection. It’s therefore critical to have an up-to-date and dependable data security system that enables you to implement the following:
- Strategic planning and risk assessment
- Data security policies, practices, and procedures
- Staff training and awareness
- Physical and technical controls
- Incident response plan
- Regular testing and monitoring of your program
Today, many IT players, including techbrain.com.au, provide the healthcare sector with powerful auditing and IT solutions that can help you identify vulnerabilities before they become a security issue.
These firms also provide security awareness training which goes a long way toward preventing disasters. It’s been established that security awareness training is one of the most overlooked and underutilized tools in preventing data breaches.
Data Security Breaches Are Costly
Data breaches can happen to small and big businesses alike. Medical data breaches are expensive to both the patients and medical institutions involved. Medical data breaches, like any organizational data breach, usually lead to identity theft with devastating results.
For instance, healthcare facilities have medical records with patients’ names, dates of birth, identification card numbers, and business information, among others. Cyber-criminals can use such details to carry out transactions in retail outlets and even defraud financial institutions by applying for loans and other financial products. Data breaches can also cripple your medical practice due to the high risk of stiff penalties, loss of patients’ trust, and reputational damage.
The question of medical data privacy and security is one of business survival. Even slight data breaches could land you in professional and business trouble. Securing your patient’s information should be part of your business continuity strategies because a hefty penalty can lead to business closure.
Medical data security solutions available today vary by price and complexity. To secure your patients’ medical data and eliminate all potential risks associated with insecure data, consider partnering with a trusted IT security firm that only provides compliant solutions.