If there is one thing that experts in the health care industry can all agree on, it is that there needs to be a greater emphasis on data security in the new year. Congress has already pledged its support in keeping the personal medical data of Americans out of the hands of hackers, with the creation of a security task force and allocated federal money. But it is also important to look back and see where the failings come from, and what can be done to correct them throughout 2016.
While major hacks and security breaches generate headlines — hundreds of millions of Americans have had their data stolen in the last five years alone — everyday practices of medical professionals put this information at risk. Fortunately, there are implementable solutions that can work well. Because there is so much at stake with medical data, it is crucial that these mistakes are fixed as quickly as possible.
"If there is one thing that experts in the health care industry can all agree on, it is that there needs to be a greater emphasis on data security in the new year."
According to a recent report from Forbes, health care organizations only devote an average of 14 percent of their annual IT budget to security, significantly below the 20 percent spent by other industries. To be able to better fight off the hackers and other cyber criminals, hospitals and other places need to balance their budgets and devote more to how they can keep the digital side of their business as secure as they can. Otherwise, they are open and vulnerable to attacks.
There is also an issue of security not being a top priority among all departments in a health care organization. Most employees tend to think that IT security is solely the responsibility of the tech department, but those on computers are the weakest link in security. Careless mistakes are often made — clicking on a phishing email, or even just misplacing their laptops or smartphones — that leave the organization in an undesirable position. Every last person needs to be concerned about medical data security.
Users will misuse, or even entirely ignore, IT policies and systems that are too complicated to understand. Even if these programs are well-intentioned, people are reluctant to give up valuable time in their busy schedules to figure out a process if they can just skip over it instead. But, on the flip side, it will not be beneficial to have a security system in place that is too focused on ease of use. Balancing security and usability is a critical line to walk in the health care world.
Whether you choose to go the home health care route or visit a local physician, be sure to check back here again for more health insurance help and information. Contact a member of our team to learn more about available options.