The healthcare system relies heavily on trust as a fundamental principle. Patients must trust that medical providers and institutions prioritize their well-being. During medical consultations, patients often disclose personal information they may not share with anyone else. It is crucial for them to feel confident that their healthcare provider will not share this information without their explicit consent, whether it be with curious family members, pharmaceutical companies, or other medical professionals. We will help protect patient data and offer modern protection methods that comply with international and local laws.
Why is it important to comply with HIPAA and GDPR?
There were nearly 200% more breaches of healthcare data records in 2019 compared to 2018, totaling over 41 million patient records. These statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) demonstrate a significant increase in breaches, leading to penalties for healthcare providers, plans, and clearinghouses.
HIPAA, a federal law passed in 1996, mandates national privacy and security regulations for protecting patients’ confidential data. Non-compliance with HIPAA requirements carries various penalties, ranging from $100 to $50,000, along with other substantial repercussions. Hence, obtaining HIPAA certification is a logical choice.
The EU has introduced the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a regulation focused on data privacy and protection standards. It applies not only to EU organizations but also to those doing business with EU citizens. American healthcare organizations and businesses are also impacted by GDPR, especially those that engage EU doctors and healthcare facilities for supplies or professional assistance.
How to protect data in Healthcare?
#1 Employee training
Your organization can only rely on a HIPAA-compliant content management system to a certain extent. Your team must understand how to effectively utilize it and safeguard patients’ confidential health information.
Ideally, everyone with access to the Content Cloud should possess knowledge of fundamental security measures that are necessary to maintain data integrity and mitigate the chances of a breach. Some important areas of training should include:
- Creating robust passwords.
- Securing personal and work-related mobile devices.
- Identifying and avoiding scams, particularly phishing attempts.
- Implementing security measures, such as requiring multi-factor authentication.
In addition to emphasizing the importance of educating employees on security measures, it is also crucial for your team to comprehend the requirements and expectations set forth by HIPAA.
#2 Encryption of information
Encrypting information serves as a crucial preventive measure to thwart hackers’ attempts at decoding it. The development team devises the most suitable method for individual platforms, whether it be through symmetric or asymmetric access keys.
Even without technical expertise, you can encrypt your private network using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), making it challenging for unauthorized individuals to identify and access your data from personal computers outside the private network. The same VeePN does an excellent job of protecting data during transmission. He can just as easily change the Snapchat location, unblock Netflix, or ensure anonymity on the Internet. There are many areas of application, so implementing the tool will be useful for different tasks. To ensure the security of private data, various protocols like Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTPS), Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) can be employed.
Benefits of encrypting medical data include:
- Safeguarding data across different devices used by the user
- Enhanced security through advanced authentication measures
- Minimizing risks of data leakage and associated material losses
#3 Backup data
Storing medical records and selecting an effective backup strategy is crucial. Healthcare providers bear the responsibility of upholding data integrity and accessibility to fortify the vulnerable healthcare system. Thus, healthcare organizations must evaluate their security needs and implement robust data protection measures.
The 3-2-1 Backup Strategy remains the most reliable and proven method for safeguarding medical data. It ensures a minimum of three data copies on two different devices, including at least one copy in the cloud. By backing up the NAS device to cloud storage, a third external copy is created.
#4 Delete unnecessary data
Many victims of data breaches have discovered an important lesson: organizations that hold a large amount of healthcare data provide more opportunities for criminals to steal. To address this issue, organizations should implement a policy that mandates the deletion of patient and other unnecessary information.
Customer data in the medical industry contains particularly sensitive information that patients definitely do not want to disclose. At the same time, this information is very interesting for hackers, as it allows them to blackmail people. But medical companies also cannot refuse to store and process data, so the only solution is data protection. Each medical organization is forced to work with these employees and therefore must protect them. Otherwise, you risk eroding customer trust and receiving a serious fine.