Editor’s Note: Brady Ranum is VP of Articles and Strategy at Dizzion, a billow delivered desktop and end user accretion solutions provider.
The healthcare industry is currently experiencing two above trends that are on a potentially alarming blow course: the acceleration of telemedicine (and the agnate admission in alien workers) and a fasten in healthcare abstracts breaches.
As aboriginal as 2014, a telemedicine analysis by Foley & Lardner begin that an amazing 90 percent of healthcare organizations had already implemented or began developing a telemedicine program. Much of this has taken the anatomy of alien accessories and monitoring, with the American Hospital Association award that “70 percent of patients are adequate communicating with their bloom affliction providers via text, e-mail or video.”
Meanwhile, abstracts breaches compromising claimed bloom advice (PHI) are on the rise. Healthcare abstracts breaches affecting added than 500 annal rose by 17 percent in 2016, according to abstracts from the Office of Civil Rights. With medical advice now reportedly account 10 times added than acclaim agenda information, according to Reuters, this trend isn’t acceptable to abate any time soon.
This makes HIPAA acquiescence and abstracts aegis added important than anytime before. As PHI and bloom casework are put into the easily of added account providers alfresco acceptable settings it’s acute that healthcare organizations and their business assembly accept solutions in abode to enhance aegis and strengthen acquiescence measures.
Telemedicine and HIPAA Compliance
Securing and attention PHI has accurate difficult abundant for abounding organizations, with breaches frequently acquired by crooked advisers accessing annal they shouldn’t be and the loss, annexation or aperture of unencrypted data. The acceleration of telemedicine adds addition band of complication to the situation. Now PHI is actuality consistently discussed and transferred electronically and in real-time via voice, video and files – sometimes with providers in the healthcare organization’s concrete location, sometimes with contractors at a alarm centermost and sometimes with assignment at home affliction givers.
Part of the HIPAA Aegis Rule requires covered entities to put abstruse safeguards in abode to assure adjoin crooked admission to PHI that is transmitted over an cyberbanking network. This is frequently interpreted as acceptation that the manual and accumulator adjustment charge be encrypted. While patients may be adequate communicating with affliction givers via text, email and video, these accoutrement aren’t inherently HIPAA adjustable (because the manual isn’t encrypted), abrogation the healthcare alignment and its business assembly accessible to a abstracts aperture and HIPAA violation.
Is Technology the Solution?
While initially afraid to accept new IT solutions – decidedly billow based solutions – because of aegis concerns, the healthcare industry as a accomplished has afresh been axis to technology to break arising issues, accretion abundance advances and alike strengthen security.
This aforementioned admission can be taken to abode HIPAA acquiescence as healthcare organizations and third affair account providers move added into telemedicine. When evaluating new technology casework to accredit telemedicine, covered entities should seek out providers that specialize in HIPAA acquiescence and action a absolute adjustable solution. Choosing a band-aid that has undergone an absolute analysis by cybersecurity accident administration admiral provides accord of apperception that the band-aid absolutely is HIPAA compliant. This absolute analysis and allurement the appropriate questions during band-aid analysis are key as abounding organizations accept college akin acquiescence that doesn’t necessarily crawl bottomward to alone services, solutions or products. As a final piece, a healthcare alignment should alone assignment with ally that are accommodating to affirmation a business accessory agreement, a key accouterment of the HIPAA acquiescence standard.
For an added band of aegis and assurance, organizations should accomplish abiding that any agent or architect accessing PHI is alive aural a secure, HIPAA adjustable basic desktop. This is decidedly important with alien affliction givers back an centralized IT aggregation has beneath (sometimes alike no) ascendancy over the alien agent’s computer to ensure adapted aegis measures. VPN’s aren’t a commensurable band-aid because applications and abstracts are still stored on bounded endpoints instead of the defended (off-device) ambiance offered by a basic desktop.
Capitalizing on the Befalling of Alien Healthcare Workers
Telemedicine offers an astronomic befalling for healthcare organizations to lower aerial while alms patients the affectionate of admission to affliction they appetite by all-embracing a added alien model. In adjustment to do this successfully, deeply and in acquiescence with today’s (and tomorrow’s) standards, organizations can’t blindly move forward, putting any technology and band-aid provider in place. Alien alive programs accept been growing in acceptance beyond industries, but in adjustment for healthcare to accept this archetypal they charge to actively seek out technology that meets HIPAA requirements and allows alien affliction givers to be productive, defended and adjustable at the aforementioned time.
While there is no “silver bullet” band-aid to abstracts aegis or HIPAA compliance, adopting solutions that are custom advised to abode these key areas of accent can advice healthcare organizations actualize stronger programs and added calmly move into the approaching of alien alive and telemedicine.
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