Running a healthcare organization is about more than operating a successful business – it is about trust. By its very nature, healthcare is deeply personal, which means your patients’ dignity, privacy, and welfare should be your highest priority.
A key element of maintaining good healthcare is the safe storage of your patient’s data. This data is, of course, imperative to the continued ability for you to provide your healthcare service and ensure your patients receive the specific care they need.
Naturally, this data is highly sensitive, as it likely includes the medical history of all your patients, their personal details, and even their bank account information. If it were to fall into the wrong hands, it would endanger your patients and sever the bond of trust between your organization and the people it intends to care for.
Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you sufficiently protect this information from data breaches. This means choosing the safest place to store the data, monitoring who has access to it at any one time and using specialist tools to help you maintain the integrity of your security system at all times.
This is how to protect your healthcare organization from data breaches:
You need to comply with the HIPAA
If you run a healthcare organization in the U.S. that handles protected healthcare information, you will need to comply with the HIPAA.
The HIPAA (which stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is essentially a series of rules that healthcare companies must follow to properly maintain the security of protected healthcare information.
These rules ensure that healthcare companies take their data security seriously and provide a series of processes to follow. These processes include implementing written policies and codes of conduct related to protected healthcare information and internal security auditing.
If you want to find out more about HIPAA and its associated processes, click here.
Keep sensitive data between as few people as possible
When it comes to keeping sensitive patient data private and secure, you should only allow a select few approved staff members to access it.
Although this will depend on the information that an employee is accessing, you should have a series of barriers preventing unapproved staff members from viewing private information.
This is a simple step that can have a significant impact on your data security. By restricting your data access, you can keep on top of who has access at any one time, which both reduces the chances of a breach and allows you to quickly find the source in the event of a leak.
Monitor passwords and change them frequently
Similarly, it is a good idea to password protect as much data as you can, with separate passwords for different files. This prevents a hacker from accessing all your data at once in the event of them cracking a password.
For the same reason, you should change these passwords frequently. Naturally, you need to keep track of these different passwords and randomly generate them using a password generator, rather than thinking of new passwords every time. This will lessen the chance of a cyber hack or any of your employees becoming complacent and sharing the password accidentally.