The medical and healthcare industry deals with thousands of patients every day. Fortunately, through advancements in technology, software developers built various IT solutions to make the healthcare workers’ jobs more convenient. These healthcare management solutions include patient tracking systems, electronic health records (EHR) software, and electronic medical records (EMR) software. However, because these technologies store growing quantities of patient data, there is this concern regarding its security. As such, let us discuss the importance of patient data security in patient tracking systems.
What is Data Security?
When we say Data Security, it includes any preventive measure implemented on software or technology that helps guarantee the confidentiality of digital information. Data security, especially in the healthcare industry, aims to keep patient information as secure as possible.
But why should the healthcare industry be concerned about data security, you ask? If these systems or software are not secured enough, hackers can access the patients’ personal information. Then, they can use that information to commit medical fraud and the likes. For this reason, healthcare facilities such as clinics, hospitals, and laboratories should determine the reasons behind data breaches and implement heightened security solutions to prevent said violations from happening again.
Did you know that the healthcare industry faces a higher risk from data breaches compared to other sectors? Yes. As you can see in the figure above, in the years 2015–2019, the healthcare service providers (MED) in the USA experienced 1,587 (or 76.59%) out of 2,072 data breaches, including other industries in education, finance, business, retail, government, and NGOs.
This is because the information collected and stored in healthcare facilities are more detailed, including the patient’s name, date of birth, age, residence, contact information, payment account information, social security number, and more. It is for this reason that healthcare facilities face more data attacks.
Thankfully, in the Philippines, we have implemented the Republic Act 10173 or more commonly known as the Data Privacy Act of 2012 to protect an individual’s personal information in information and communication systems in government and private sectors. In addition, this act effectively regulates all medical software to be used in healthcare facilities to ensure the security of patient information.
What Causes Failures in Data Security?
We should stress the importance of implementing all the required security solutions when developing patient tracking systems and other medical software such as EHR software and EMR software. In relation, listed here are some of the common reasons why healthcare facilities undergo breaches and failures in data security:
Use of Outdated Systems
Outdated systems lack the required security needed to guarantee the confidentiality and safety of patient information. For this reason, hackers can quickly get through and gain access to patient information. As such, it would be best to stop using outdated and legacy systems and start upgrading to a newer and more secure patient tracking system.
Malware from Emails
While technology gets more and more advanced, hackers are also getting smarter with their tricks. You or your staff can unknowingly install malware and provide access to a hacker after clicking on a link in an email that you received from someone you thought was a vendor, supplier, or customer. Thus, you and your staff must be vigilant when clicking on suspicious emails.
We cannot please everyone. As such, there will be times when you or your staff may encounter disgruntled employees, contractors, vendors, or even customers. They may attempt to steal patient information to use against your business. They can even share it online or sell it to malicious individuals, which could negatively impact your reputation.
Inadequate Wireless Network Security
We have become more inclined to use wireless devices and networks due to their convenience. However, you should make sure that you have secured your wireless networks properly. You can do this using complex passwords, access-level management, two-factor authentication, and more. Otherwise, hackers may use these unsecured wireless networks to get into your network and steal data.
One other reason why failure in data security could occur in your medical facility is weak passwords. Remember that hackers are skillful and intelligent. Thus, it would be best if your password requirements are strong to guarantee that they cannot get into your network. Also, make sure that you and your employees regularly change your passwords to reduce the chances of getting hacked.
Ensure Data Security with a Patient Tracking System Now!
It is vital to implement the required data security measures to guarantee that you keep patient information secure at all times. With this, healthcare facilities can maintain customer satisfaction and uphold the reputation and credibility of their institution.
Are you looking for an EMR software that complies with set regulations on data security? With the PxTrack Patient Tracking System, your patient information is kept safe and secure. Contact us now to book your FREE demo!