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What You Need to Know About Healthcare Data

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healthcare on June 7, 2017 - 4:42 pm in News & Insights

Healthcare organizations across the world have long been facing healthcare hacking, IT vulnerabilities,  and cyber-attacks. April of 2017 saw hacking as the major cause of data breaches, affecting 93,323 individuals that month alone. In fact, for 2017, hacking and IT problems are the majority of large-scale data breaches.

Take for instance last month’s WannaCry ransomware attack. One-fifth of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) trusts, the regional bodies that oversee hospitals, were affected by the attack. Also during the same WannaCry attack say U.S.-based medical devices were affected for the first time as well time, according to Forbes.

So why are these breaches a big deal? Simply put, medical records are protected by HIPAA, and a potential breach could be a costly violation of the law. These hacks also increase healthcare costs, increase resources needed, and delay care.

As we continue to modernize and digitize our healthcare records as a result of the Affordable Care Act and as we continue to change our healthcare system with the new Republican healthcare plan, we need to put more emphasis on ensuring our healthcare IT systems and secure. By implementing a national system to secure healthcare information, we can lower costs while improving trust and peace of mind. Until that is enacted, or another solution is found, here are some tips to help keep your organization’s healthcare data secure.

  1. Encrypt Both Hardware and Data – While HIPAA does not necessitate data to be encrypted, it also does not consider a loss of encrypted data to be a breach. So encrypt healthcare data both at both on the hardware and while it is transferred.
  2. Educate Your Employees on HIPAA – Ensure your employees know the importance and value of their healthcare information, and the value of their coworker’s information as well. Teach them the latest HIPAA rules and regulations.
  3. Voluntary Products Offer Peace of Mind – Identity theft protection like LifeLock can be a valuable voluntary benefits product and can help your employees deal with any potential data breach be it healthcare information or a bank account.
Header Photo – Copyright: kmiragaya / 123RF Stock Photo
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