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3 Lessons Learned from 2017 HIPAA Violations

2017 HIPAA Data Breach & Violations

Even though HIPAA awareness and training is in abundance all across the US, the Department of Health and Human Services received 1,996 breaches in only the first half of 2017. It seems that no matter how hard organizations try, they continue to fall victim to breaches and attacks and do not take sufficient corrective measures to avoid future issues. In response, we have compiled a list of some of the most important lessons learned from 2017 HIPAA violations:

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2 Important Ways to Help Healthcare Professionals Warm to Technology

Healthcare Patient Interaction Technology

As the healthcare industry begins to adopt more widespread technology, healthcare professionals must adapt to the growing tide of technological reliance. "Physicians are slow to change - until they see the data," said Mayo Clinic chief executive John Noseworthy, during a conversation at healthcare startup incubator Matter in Chicago, Illinois. In order to pique interest, healthcare providers must show physicians the positive effects that technological adoption can have on patients' well-being:

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How Healthcare Providers are Improving Patient Interaction

Healthcare Customer Service Technology

The healthcare industry is continually adopting digital means and measures as a way to improve both fundamental organizational procedures as well as medical procedures. When thinking about customer service with regard to the healthcare field, one usually imagines face-to-face interaction between doctors and patients, bedside manner, etc. One particular digital tool that is now being used to refine and enhance healthcare customer service is MyChart.

Rapidly gaining in popularity, MyChart is a digital service being implemented by healthcare providers which allows for constant conversation between doctors and patients. The additive of 24 hour availability allows users to contact their medical professionals at any point in the day. The same can be said for the healthcare professionals: those treating patients can message their patients to check in, start new medications, give reminders, or even just give peace of mind, all done in real-time.

This increased communications availability improves doctor-patient relationships, and ensures some level of emotional security knowing your healthcare professional is always available via MyChart. The service eliminates calls to the doctor's office, or their assistants; and for increased convenience, MyChart has also been developed for mobile applications.

In the U.S. alone 70 percent of people have smartphones, therefore healthcare providers' adoption of seamlessly interactive services is the best measurement to reach and stay connected with their customers and patients regardless of proximity. With more digital implementation, customer service will increase in quantity and quality. Soon it will not only be limited to direct messaging, but expand to scheduling appointments, refilling prescriptions, and paying bills, among other services, building a fundamentally sound and interactive system for the utilization of providers, customers and patients alike.

The Importance of HIPAA Compliance

The Imporance of HIPAA Compliance Data Security

Presence Health, a healthcare network based in Illinois, earlier in 2017 acceded to pay a $475,000 fine after not reporting a breach of unsecured protected health information in a timely fashion. Officials of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) are noting that the length of time it took Presence to report the breach was not in accordance with HIPAA standards. This action represents the first HIPAA enforcement by the OCR on a healthcare provider for lack of timely notification of a breach.

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3 Factors Aiding Healthcare Cyber Attackers

Healthcare Cyber Crime

Healthcare providers and organizations are investing in cybersecurity with the growing pervasiveness and sophistication of cyber crime. Cyber criminality is becoming both more anonymous and more lucrative, opening the market for hackers and other cyber criminals to prey on healthcare providers. Despite the healthcare industry estimated to spend $65 billion on cyber security through 2021, cyberattacks are expected to quadruple by the year 2020. Regardless of financial precaution, cyber criminals are being aided by certain factors the healthcare industry has yet to remedy:

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5 of the Biggest Threats Facing Healthcare Cyber Security

Healthcare Cyber Security Threats

With cyber attacks on healthcare becoming more sophisticated and pervasive, it is increasingly clear healthcare providers have insufficient and outdated approaches to security. Digital security utilized by most healthcare providers functions by protecting against individual and immediate attacks, instead of being a universal, extensive strategy. For healthcare providers, tending to and caring for ill patients is the top priority, so any breach of data or any C-Suite member becoming compromised would result in total calamity for healthcare centers and their patients.

The following are five of the biggest threats facing healthcare cyber security:

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4 Reasons Why It is Important to Have Secure Business Associates

HIPAA Business Associates Data Security

The number of breaches of unsecured protected health information (PHI) on record in the United States is over 2000 and counting. 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. 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:

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2 Important Recommendations That Can Help Ensure HIPAA Compliance

HIPAA Compliance Tips

For healthcare organizations, remaining HIPAA compliant can be both necessary and challenging. In the United States, healthcare organizations are required to abide by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. This act provides guidelines pertaining to the handling of patient information across a number of platforms.

In an article by Kristen Lee, titled Q&A: The main reason healthcare organizations violate HIPAA, an interview is conducted with Michael Archuleta, director of IT and HIPAA security officer at Mt. San Rafael Hospital in Trinidad, Colorado. It is within this interview that Archuleta recommends two important items that can ensure HIPAA compliance:

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Why HIPAA Violations are Becoming Common Among Healthcare Organizations

HIPAA Compliance Healthcare Organizations

In the United States, healthcare organizations are required to abide by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. This act provides guidelines pertaining to the handling of patient information across a number of platforms. When healthcare organizations are looking for cloud solutions to manage their data, ensuring that it is HIPAA compliant is a necessity.

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How New AI Cloud Technologies Could Help Save Lives in Healthcare Emergencies

Healthcare AI Cloud Computing

New technologies in healthcare are being implemented at an increasingly rapid pace, creating game changers in the way medical personnel approach, diagnose and treat life threatening emergencies.

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