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Patient Data Protection: What You Need to Know

Within the healthcare industry, one of the most important aspects to keep in mind would have to be engaging in HIPAA compliant file sharing.

This can truly make or break your career in healthcare, so it’s important that you get it right each and every time. When it comes to patient data protection, here is what you need to know:

About Patient Data Presence

What is your patient data presence? This is a situation where you not only need to be aware of just how important cybersecurity is, but also how prevalent cybersecurity attacks can be as well. Why is it important that you are tech-savvy? Well, for the simple reason that data is literally everywhere in today’s world.

You also need to be aware of your data presence because more and more patients are becoming comfortable with this. They are realizing that it will not only increase access to care, but it will often shorten healing times and even control spending.

Healthcare Data Breaches

The healthcare industry has experienced a tremendous amount of booming growth, and with that, there are always going to be accompanying pain points as well. If you work with the healthcare industry for any length of time, you will notice that the frequency of cyberattacks and breaches has been increasing, and definitely not decreasing.

The widespread use and integration of health records in an electronic medium have encouraged cybercriminals to seek this data out. Indeed, 2015 was a record year for cyberattacks, with data breaches reaching as high as 113 million compromised records. That’s higher than the previous six years combined. This number included over 78 million records that had been taken in one cyberattack.

Fast forward to the present day, and we continued to find more and more sophisticated attacks.

Things such as ransomware, insider errors, and phishing attacks continue to plague the technology landscape in healthcare. Now, it isn’t just hospitals and providers that are under attack. Med Associates is a healthcare claims billing vendor and they were hacked by a cybercriminal that had accessed 270,000 patient records, including Social Security numbers.

There was another attack that occurred at Health Equity, a health savings account firm that had an unauthorized user locate a couple employee email accounts. All havoc broke loose after that simply because of the fact that these accounts had a treasure trove of private information.

Best Way To Approach Healthcare Privacy Practices

What are some of the best healthcare privacy practices? Well, first of all, you need to focus on enlisting professional help. You have a job to do, and healthcare security may not necessarily be your area of expertise. Additionally, you need to discuss the practice of encrypting data with this individual.

Make sure that you control access, because obviously the maintenance team will not need the same amount of access as a doctor or an RN would. Finding a good user authentication plan and providing remote access are also two important steps for keeping your patient data secure.

If you keep these steps in mind, you will be allowing for a more secure online environment for both your employees and your patients and you will be reducing your potential for liability risks!

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