The healthcare industry has seen incredible changes the past few years, especially as it pertains to healthcare cybersecurity:
Doctors and patients can consult online without ever stepping foot inside an office. Patients can access their medical records and visit notes on demand from the comfort of their own home. Providers and staff can access documents and files on their work computer via private remote connections. Patients can wear health-monitoring devices that give accurate, trackable results as they go about daily activities.
Twenty years ago these commonplace activities would have sounded incredulous. Today, they’re very real, as are the healthcare cybersecurity threats they pose.
Can a Healthcare Cybersecurity Breach Compromise Patient Trust?
Truth be told, any industry is susceptible to data breaches and cybercriminal activity, but the impact on healthcare organizations is unique. Healthcare breaches are among the most costly type, and not just in terms of monetary loss.
Studies show that a single stolen medical record in the U.S. costs $380 in 2017, which was more than twice the global average. The cost of single breaches continues to increase each year, even with stricter measures being into practice. These, of course, are just the monetary repercussions, but the impact of compromised patient trust isn’t as easily measured.
In a study by Gemalto, 64% of consumers admitted they are not likely to do business again with a company if their financial or personal data was breached. In this same study, half of the respondents indicated they wouldn’t do business with a company again if non-sensitive information was stolen.
This paints a chilling picture for healthcare companies. Patients aren’t just concerned about whether their medical records or financial details were hacked. Any leak of information, be it an appointment or their birthday, can be enough to prevent them from returning to your facility.
How to Use Healthcare Cybersecurity to Earn Patient Trust
Healthcare data breaches are seemingly on the decline. Even so, it’s still critical for organizations to take a proactive stance against cybersecurity issues and protect their patient data.
Gemalto’s study revealed that at least 31% of consumers have been a victim of a data breach. 16% believed they could be a victim of a breach within the next year. The majority of respondents feel that companies do not take data protection and security very seriously, even though they believe the bulk of the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the company.
To change this negative image, it’s important to show your patients that healthcare cybersecurity is a priority in your organization. Taking additional security precautions, such as two-factor authentication or SSL certificates, can go a long way in demonstrating your commitment to keeping their data safe. Providing a written healthcare cybersecurity policy that details how their data is used, stored, and accessed can also show you take their data seriously.
It’s difficult for healthcare organizations to recover from a data breach, both in terms of the financial impact and the damage it can deal to your image. To find out more about Lifepoint’s solutions in keeping patient data safe, talk to one of our sales team members to schedule a free demo.