Patient Privacy – A Vital Part of Patient Care

Patient Privacy – A Vital Part of Patient Care

We live in technologically advanced times. While there are tremendous advantages to having state of the art IT infrastructure at your healthcare facility, there are also equally enormous risks associated with it. Security breaches are perhaps the most significant peril that technology brings along. It is, therefore, of utmost importance for any healthcare entity to have an iron-clad confidentiality policy in place to prevent data leaks and compromised patient-privacy.

Information pertaining to healthcare is valuable. It is often misused by criminals to steal identities and commit felonies like insurance fraud. 4 out of 5 American health care facilities admit that their health information systems have suffered cyber pilferage at some point. Not only is this an alarming fact for the patients, but it also is a warning for all budding healthcare units across the country. To ensure top-of-the-rung patient care as well as to assure your patients that their sensitive information is in safe hands, it is crucial to implement the following 4 things as quickly as possible:

1. A Confidentiality Framework. A comprehensive security framework that covers IT as well non-IT related data security helps in keeping the issue of data security at the top of your list of priorities. Ensure regular data privacy and security training for your staff. Making your confidentiality policy available for patients can be useful in gaining their trust and making them feel confident about selecting you as a provider.

2. A Plan to Incorporate Partners Into Your Confidentiality Policy. The healthcare diaspora is not limited to the physicians and their staff. It also encompasses other partners like health insurance providers and care-management workers, to name a few. A higher number of touchpoints for patient data makes it all the more vulnerable to theft. It is, therefore, a wise idea to encourage all your associated entities to adhere to the same privacy standards as you do.

3. Secure IT Architecture. Cloud-based systems for data storage are touted as the best when it comes to information protection. Investing in such a system for your organization will resolve a significant chunk of your worry. Also, a clear picture of all the connected systems and the flow of data between these systems will be helpful for your information security officer to spot weak areas and fix them even before a cyber-attack occurs.

4. Added Security Measures. Data security practices like encrypted hard drives on laptops, password protected phones and computer terminals, an authentication process, updated anti-virus software on all computers and segregated Wi-Fi networks for patients and employees are examples of measures that you can take to avoid data thefts proactively. Employing a data security expert to keep your facility on par with the latest in security standards may be a good investment too.

Mirra Health Care, a healthcare management organization, can assist you in successfully averting any data security threat that may be hovering over your organization. By implementing automated validation tools to check your compliance levels, educating your staff periodically on issues related to patient privacy, and conducting audits to review privacy policies and procedures, Mirra can help you build an impenetrable fortress within which your patients’ data will be as safe as possible. Above all, trained professionals at Mirra are adept at providing guidance in the form of industry best practices and current compliance requirements to make it easier for you to chalk your security framework. For more information on how you can partner with Mirra, get in touch with us - Contact Us