Why Is Healthcare Data Security Important?

Updated on February 1, 2023

The healthcare sector relies heavily on data security measures to ensure patient privacy and abide by laws such as HIPAA. Before computers became commonplace, keeping patient records safe was relatively simple: information was written down and stored in locked filing cabinets.

Thanks to technological advancements and the advent of the digital age, though, medical records are now kept digitally on various computers, servers, as well as storage devices. Data breaches, ransomware, viruses, and other harmful attacks are all more likely to occur with the widespread adoption of electronic records. You can definitely learn more on this link https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Software-HIPAA-Compliant

Today’s medical staff rely heavily on electronic devices like computers and tablets to get, update, and record patient information. It’s possible that information may be shared between a network of hospitals and doctors’ offices. For this reason, there is a pressing need for more robust strategies to protect healthcare organizations’ data against theft, loss, or compromise due to cybercrime or technical failure.

What is data security? 

Healthcare Data Privacy Overview: From HIPAA to HITECH - Hitachi Systems  Security

Protecting and securing data can be achieved by any number of preventative measures. The goal of data security in healthcare operations is to implement a systematic approach to protecting sensitive information.

Many hospitals are easy targets for hackers who want to steal patient data or perform other forms of medical fraud because of the sensitive nature of their data. Healthcare businesses must thoroughly investigate the internal and external elements that provide the greatest risk of data breaches in order to implement appropriate security measures.

When it comes to patient information, what kinds of dangers can be lurking in the background? You can never be too safe! 

When creating healthcare data security solutions, it is important for healthcare operations to be aware of typical risk factors such as, but not limited to:

Relying on old technologies

Hackers have an easier time gaining access to sensitive healthcare information when using obsolete operating systems, software, and legacy systems. Due to the lack of updates and security patches from the original developer, these systems are not secure. Better to switch to newer, more secure technologies. Read more here

Malicious spam emails

More sophisticated phishing scams are being launched, often using emails that appear to have come from legitimate companies like those used in business transactions. If the email is opened or a link is clicked, malware could be installed, and a hacker could gain access to sensitive medical information. Remind your staff to always use caution when opening emails from unknown senders.

Third-party personnel  

Unhappy workers, contractors, or vendors may steal, leak, or otherwise gain access to sensitive patient information.

Lack of or inadequate safety measures for wireless networks

Data security is not limited to hardwired computers. As wireless devices become increasingly common in healthcare facilities, it is crucial that wireless networks be protected by robust passwords.

The widespread use of weak passwords

Weak passwords are another security issue for healthcare firms. Make sure your password policy requires robust passwords that are difficult to crack. You should also make sure workers aren’t logging into other systems with the same password.

Insufficient education about the need of data security

Lack of proper training can lead to security breaches going unnoticed by staff, contractors, vendors, etc. Everyone who joins the team should receive thorough orientation. It’s also helpful to check in with employees on a frequent basis to make sure they’re using best practices for data protection.

Not always ensuring data is kept safe

Employees leaving their workstations unsecured is a typical cause of data insecurity. This leaves sensitive information vulnerable to theft. Make sure your staff knows how critical it is that they either lock their workstations at the end of each workday or set their computers to automatically lock after a short time of inactivity.

To what extent should you invest in healthcare data security solutions?

Consider factors like data storage methods, data kinds, data retention policies, and other factors when deciding what kind of data healthcare security solutions to implement. Employees, patients, Patients, employees, contractors, suppliers, vendors, etc. all benefit from standard security standards as part of a comprehensive security plan.

Moreover, there should be strict need-to-know access controls for all data. Not everyone requires access to sensitive information like patient billing and insurance details. Instead, you should restrict access to only those who need it to process insurance claims and bill patients.

The same holds true for documents detailing a patient’s medical history, such as their diagnosis, treatment plan, medications, etc. The information contained below should be restricted to the attending physician and his or her nurses. In some cases, other medical staff may need access; in these instances, permissions should be granted on a case-by-case basis, and they ought to be given only the information they need to do their jobs.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.