Falling Down: Healthcare Information Security.
This post is courtesy of a guest writer with decades of experience in public and private healthcare.
As a BSN and RN for over 20 years, I have had the opportunity and privilege to share my skill set in acute and chronic care environments. My experiences range from Cardiac care, Trauma/ED, Sub-acute Rehab, and Population Health Care Management.
As a professional Registered Nurse and seasoned health care provider I can say without a shadow of a doubt one of my main concerns today is the integrity of Information Security in Health Care. Whether its in the ED/Trauma bay, on the Unit or Outpatient.
Ultimately, one of our foremost goals is that our patients remain adherent to the appropriate Plan of Care (POC). Whether it’s after an acute event or the result of a continued long-term diagnosis. As providers we all know adherence increases compliance > reducing risk> decreasing cost!
A simple example: “smart tools” like remote monitoring devices, which of course have recently been shown to be a proverbial “Pandora’s Box” for hackers if not managed appropriately. These tools can alleviate the challenges related to accessibility and cost. The patient doesn’t have to worry about transportation issues, cost, provider availability, etc.
Another simple example is on line appointment scheduling. The patient may even earn “extra credit” for this.
As providers and caregivers, we are asking our patients to dive into a world of technology that is most likely foreign to them…
Are we really providing the security, the protection, the trust that a patient expects?
We mention your name in a crowded elevator on our way to the cafeteria = HIPAA violation.
But wait... we walk away from our desktop unlocked??
You’re sent home with a Loop Recorder or PM. Who’s making sure those devices are secure?
The bottom line is that in Healthcare, not unlike any other enterprise/business, we are at increasing risk for Information Security breach.
What sets us apart from any other businesses?
LIFE and DEATH