When medical professionals review patient security and healthcare IT services in this day of heightened security threats, what usually comes to mind first is stolen financial and identity information. In reality, this is only part of the data at risk. Security breaches due to insufficient IT services put patients at risk in a number of ways.
If you are a practice owner or a related business associate, you must understand how such breaches affect patient safety in order to determine what the most effective managed IT services are that will provide necessary patient protection.
IT Security and Patient Safety
In light of ever-increasing security regulations and patient privacy rules, HIPAA continues to work toward ensuring that all businesses with access to sensitive patient information are practicing effective security methods, including use of the proper secure healthcare IT services. While business and personal financial information and personal patient details are both a prime concern, one frequently overlooked safety issue is the patient medical records themselves.
This information, whether obtained through an intercepted transmission or a hacked network, is yet another way to identify a patient and is vital to the patient’s health and safety. As such, it is imperative that your business maintains managed IT services by focusing on preventing unauthorized access by way of multiple strategies.
Medical Records Also A Critical Safety Issue
The concern over the loss of financial records and personal identity information from insufficient IT services is obvious. Still, this information can be modified or corrected by the patient at will if accessed. What cannot be changed is their PHI or personal medical history which is the past care they received and any future care required.
In the event that PHI is accessed and accidentally or maliciously modified, there is more than a patient’s credit rating or identity at stake. Any alteration, such as a modified prescription or diagnostic value, could be extremely harmful if it resulted in a change in treatment.
Without secure healthcare IT services in place, many opportunities to unlawfully modify patient records may exist within your practice as well as with business associates, diagnostic and radiology labs, pharmacies, and more.
Best Practices for Patient Safety
However unlikely the unauthorized alteration of medical records may appear, it can be done. It could especially happen if your business does not work with experienced managed IT services to develop vital security strategies. Because it is conceivably possible, your business is liable to prevent any unauthorized access according to HIPAA safety and privacy laws. Theft prevention should involve contracting with IT services experienced with healthcare security and HIPAA regulations and use multiple security strategies.
Your medical business must create company rules and access protocols as well as use up-to-date software and antivirus programs, data encryption, two-factor authorization, frequent data backups, and other essential security protocols. HIPAA also requires businesses to perform security audits to determine weaknesses, recommend continuous employee training to reduce risks, and suggest limiting access to patient data to only those required to view it.
Secure IT services are more important than ever for your medical business and business associates. In addition to protecting obvious financial and identity information using effective healthcare IT services and strategies, at-risk medical records and PHI must be protected. Any accidental or malicious modification of this information is dangerous to the patient.
Prevent unauthorized access with security strategies you develop through the help of expert managed IT services who understands the risks and how to prevent them!