Running a hospital presents a variety of unique challenges. It is like many other businesses as it requires effective leadership and communication to run smoothly, but the extra factor is the importance of timeliness. All businesses require quick employee response, but this could not be truer for a healthcare facility. Patients and their health can be unpredictable. There should be a method of reaching healthcare professionals promptly while still protecting the sensitive information being transmitted.
As more employees begin to work from home, and cybercriminals become increasingly more sophisticated in their abilities, unsuspecting tech users have become more vulnerable. With this in mind, there is no better time for employers and IT leaders to develop a cybersecurity response plan and back it with a budget that fits the size and needs of the organization.
When it comes to cybersecurity, an organization can never sit still, as trends and risks are constantly evolving. In most cases, the cost of developing a solid plan and budget for cybersecurity can seem like a small price to pay in comparison to the damage a cyberattack can cause to an organization's reputation and bottom line. What questions should you be asking of your plan and what important areas should you consider for your budget?
The number of breaches of unsecured protected health information (PHI) on record in the United States is staggering and continually increasing. Significantly, these records only cover breaches affecting 500 or more individuals. One can only wonder how many more breaches have occurred on a smaller scale. The types of breaches range from theft and hacking, to improper disposal and unauthorized access as a result of negligence. According to the HIPAA Journal, between 2009 and 2019 there were 3,054 healthcare data breaches involving more than 500 records. Those breaches have resulted in the loss, theft, exposure, or impermissible disclosure of 230,954,151 healthcare records. That equates to more than 69.78% of the population of the United States.
Such incidents can be avoided if covered entities (companies involved in healthcare) ensure that all of their business associates are secured. There are many reasons why it is important to have secure business associates. Being aware of these reasons may prompt covered entities to take the necessary measures to protect their clientele's information:
Over the last few years, personal medical devices used at home have facilitated monitoring and transmitting patient health data from home using the internet. Devices part of the so-called "Internet of Medical Things" (IoMT) trend include insulin pumps, heart and glucose monitors, defibrillators, pacemakers, and more.
These particular medical devices are meant to create efficiencies for both patients and healthcare professionals alike. However, according to Help Net Security, "researchers have identified a growing number of software vulnerabilities and demonstrated the feasibility of attacks on these products," leading "to targeted attacks to both individuals and entire product classes."
A recent report from the Health and Human Services (HHS) Office offered some sobering news about the safety of information in the healthcare industry. According to the HHS, there was a staggering increase in large data breaches in 2020. There were 642 healthcare data breaches of 500 or more records in the past year, resulting in a 25% increase from the year prior, according to HIPAA Journal.
With the constant changes in the digital industry, it becomes extremely important to have robust IT change management strategies. By applying them consistently, organizations can ensure their IT change process is swift in responding to digital transformations.
Companies can establish a powerful IT change management digital transformations plan with the following essentials:
Data encryption is available on many of the applications and devices we use daily. In most cases, it is quite easy to toggle "on" as well. It would also seem as if many internet users are beginning to realize the importance of encrypting their data online. A recent article by Chad Skipper of VMware notes "the percentage of encrypted web traffic on the Internet has steadily increased, from around 50% in 2014 to between 80% and 90% today..."
Technology, such as cloud computing, is becoming increasingly attractive in the healthcare management industry. Hospital Chief Information Officers (CIOs), however, now face the difficult task of optimizing new technology while still maintaining the healthcare industry's ethical standards. Here are the top four challenges faced by Hospital CIOs in implementing new technology:
Bill C-11, also known as the Digital Charter Implementation Act, was introduced in the House of Commons in Canada, on December 2, 2020. Its aim is to amend current acts while creating new guidelines to bolster consumer privacy.
How Healthcare Customer Service Benefits from Digital Transformations
Throughout recent decades, doctor-patient relationships have completely transformed, with patients now having higher expectations and playing active roles in their own diagnosis and treatment. Accordingly, the evolution of patients from passive individuals into well-informed customers has encouraged the healthcare industry to keep up with new expectations by digitizing its processes. This means that patients can now experience: