Healthcare data breaches are serious concerns for health organizations of any size, and its looming threat could be preventing many from adopting digital technologies.
A recent report from Change Healthcare and the Healthcare Executive Group revealed that about half of its surveyed organizations claimed that the looming threats of healthcare data breaches and security issues are making them reconsider whether they want to pursue digital tools and technology.
It is the biggest factor that prevents mobile and digital technology from being more widespread in the healthcare industry, and the slower rate of adoption isn’t likely to change anytime soon.
Challenges in Healthcare Digital Technology
Compared to other industries, the assumed cutting-edge image of the healthcare industry is lagging in technological sophistication. Administrative technology simply hasn’t kept up with the level of care and treatment that providers deliver.
To further complicate the adoption rate, an influx of technological advances has created a much larger, more complex landscape for security experts to navigate.
Bring Your Own Device
The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement has extended into the healthcare field, possibly before its security risks were known. Doctors and nurses aren’t just using their devices to check email, either. They put devices to work throughout their day to be more productive, but exactly what they’re sending and storing is a challenge the healthcare industry wasn’t prepared to tackle.
Digital Medical Devices
Digital medical devices have increased the expansive network of healthcare organizations. Things like remote heart monitors, insulin pumps, or health apps are continually collecting data about their users and must be protected.
Though not new, patient portals are proving to be more risky than many organizations first realized. The biggest threat here isn’t direct infiltration of a patient’s information, but rather the fact that IT teams cannot completely control how the patient accesses the portal.
For example, patients could access their information from an unsecured third-party connection (e.g. their local coffee shop). They could use a public computer, such as one at the library, and forget to log out of their portal.
Because of increased privacy laws surrounding healthcare, adopting digital and mobile technology has been compounded with concerns. HIPAA makes it more difficult to easily share or access data and offer transparency.
What Healthcare Companies Can Do to Mitigate Digital Risk
It’s becoming less of an option for healthcare organizations to adopt digital technology into their ecosystem, especially as the rest of the world progresses. For example, advancements like AI and blockchain can only reach the height of their effectiveness when they have complete data sets to work with, and healthcare will play an increasingly vital role in how these technologies are ultimately used.
When it becomes necessary to adopt, healthcare companies should still proceed with caution. They must take a proactive stance in reducing or eliminating potential security risks when it comes to digital devices. No longer the sole responsibility of the IT department, every member of your organization must be committed to ensuring that patient data remains private and secure.
Partnering with a data solutions provider that can help you navigate the complexities of healthcare information exchange can ease the pain of digital adoption and give you and your patients peace of mind that their data is safe. Contact us today to learn how Lifepoint is providing end solutions to combat the risk of healthcare data breaches.