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Healthcare: Prevent insider threats

Healthcare: Prevent insider threats

June 5th, 2018
Healthcare: Prevent insider threats

Healthcare is the only industry where insider threats pose the greatest threat to sensitive data, with 58 percent of security incidents coming from people working within the organization itself. Here’s a look at five ways to prevent such breaches.

#1 Educate – The workforce (meaning all healthcare employees) must be educated on allowable uses and disclosures of protected health information (PHI) and the risk associated with certain behaviors, patient privacy, and data security. For example, when a celebrity is admitted to hospital, employees may be tempted, just out of curiosity, to sneak a look at their medical records, so this must be emphasized as a definite no-no.

#2 Deter – Policies must be developed to reduce risk and those policies must be strictly enforced. The repercussions of HIPAA violations and privacy breaches should be clearly explained to employees. They can be penalized huge amounts of money and violations can also carry criminal charges that can result in jail time.

#3 Detect – Healthcare organizations should implement technology to identify breaches rapidly and user-access logs should be checked regularly. Organizations need to have a strong audit process and ensure that they are regularly monitoring and updating access controls so only authorized personnel are looking at sensitive patient data, and that attempts by unauthorized personnel don’t go unpunished.

#4 Investigate – When potential privacy and security breaches are detected, they must be investigated promptly to limit the damages. When the cause of the breach is identified, steps should be taken to prevent recurrence.

#5 Train – Healthcare employees must undergo regular comprehensive training so employers can eliminate insider threats. From a privacy standpoint, training and education often start with the employees themselves; they learn all about data privacy right off the bat, from the first day of orientation. Still, organizations must remain vigilant and ensure that they are properly prioritizing privacy and security as cybersecurity threats continue to evolve. Healthcare organizations’ IT departments should send out different tips covering a variety of topics regularly throughout the year. And to keep these tips top-of-mind among employees, IT departments should send them via a variety of media, including emails, printed newsletters, and even memos.

Is your healthcare data secure? What other steps can you take to ensure protection for your healthcare provider from insider threats? Call today for a quick chat with one of our experts for more information.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

HIPAA Requires Careful Social Media Posting

HIPAA Requires Careful Social Media Posting

May 7th, 2018
HIPAA Requires Careful Social Media Posting

Healthcare providers that use Social Media can interact with their patients, advertise new services, and quickly communicate urgent announcements or messages. There’s immense potential for it to improve care, but also to expose patient-specific information.

On April 14, 2003, the “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act” (HIPAA) became law with the goal of protecting the privacy of patient medical records, hospitals, doctors, and health plans. The regulations set forth by this legislation allowed patients to freely access their medical records and gave them more control over the disclosure and use of their private health information.

Billions of people consume Social Media content every day, and over 30% of healthcare professionals use the same platforms to build and expand their professional network. There are advantages to utilizing Social Media in the medical field, such as notifications about new services, and interacting with patients. However, there is a possibility that using this platform the wrong way will lead to violations in patient privacy and HIPAA regulations.

What actions on Social Media violate HIPAA rules?

According to HIPAA regulations, a violation or breach is unauthorized use or disclosure under the Privacy Rule which exposes the privacy or security of Protected Health Information (PHI).

Examples of common violations include:

  • Sharing pictures (like a team lunch in the workplace) with patient information visible in the background.
  • Sharing any form of PHI (such as images) without the patient’s written consent.
  • Posting “gossip” about a patient to those who are not concerned, even if the name is not mentioned.

How much do HIPAA violations cost?

People in the healthcare industry cannot treat HIPAA lightly. If an employee were found guilty of violating a HIPAA rule, that person could face a fine between $100 and $1,500,000. Depending on the severity of the violation, the employee might face a 10-year jail sentence, lawsuits, termination from the job, and the loss of medical license.

How can healthcare organizations prevent violations?

It is a good idea to have employees undergo training on HIPAA Security and HIPAA Privacy procedures and policies when they are hired. Topics that should be discussed include workstation use, workstation security, and bringing personal devices into the workplace. These procedures are crucial to making sure that employees comply with HIPAA rules and are protecting patient information, whether it be electronic, written or oral.

Do you work in the healthcare industry and need help managing IT and privacy issues? Feel free to give us a call today!

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

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