Protecting patients’ confidential information is one of the most vital roles a healthcare provider has. As technology continues to grow more and more advanced, there are more threats that healthcare providers may face. Because of that, you should be aware of the different ways to improve healthcare patient data security. You can protect your patient’s confidential information by taking the time to secure their private health data.
Educating Healthcare Staff
The biggest step you can take to improve data security is educating your staff. The people accessing the data will always be the weakest link. By training your team on how to handle patient data and keep it safe, they can help mitigate a lot of harm. A simple act of negligence, such as offhandedly commenting about someone’s treatment or diagnosis, can cause problems later on and even open up the office to a lawsuit. Security awareness training helps employees know how to use caution and make intelligent decisions about keeping patient data safer.
Restricting Access to Apps and Data
Access controls can help protect data by restricting access to certain information. By limiting the number of people who can access the data, you’ll protect it more. These days, multi-factor authentication is becoming more common, adding an extra layer of security. This often includes passwords and PINs, biometrics, or keys and cards.
Logging and Monitoring Use
By logging all access and usage data, it becomes much more possible to track down who has seen patient information. This can help protect against misuse, as tracking can clarify whether providers are only logging on as necessary. It can also help identify areas of concern if data is compromised.
One of the best ways used to protect data is to encrypt it. By encrypting data, both when it’s at rest or in transit, certain programs make it nearly impossible to decipher patient information, even when wrongfully accessed. HIPAA recommends these encryption measures for additional data protection.
Regular Risk Assessments
Another of the different ways to improve healthcare patient data security is to conduct a regular risk assessment. Data protection services are great tools for mitigating this risk and keeping patient info safe. Audit trails can also help identify the causes of data breaches. Still, a regular risk assessment can act as a proactive preventative measure to keep the data from becoming breached in the first place.
These risk assessments may help identify vulnerabilities in security and education. Through risk evaluation, it’s possible to correct any potential weak spots in the system.