Tips for Integrating Healthcare IT Security Into Your Practice

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently reported that incidents of data breaches in the healthcare industry are growing. The greatest cause seems to be due to the increase in use of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets on unsecured wireless networks. HIPAA Privacy Rule requirements apply to most health care providers, and there are several steps you can take to defend your data from prying eyes to maintain privacy.

  • Use a secure, password-protected network for all office communication, with a strong password that you change on a regular basis.
  • Establish mobile device and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies that include specific guidelines for use by all staff.
  • Require log-in procedures, including user identification, for all users, including “guests.”
  • Conduct a risk assessment to determine vulnerabilities.
  • Immunize all devices against viruses that could steal patient data.
  • Conduct periodic evaluations to ensure all staff and devices are in compliance with privacy policies and procedures.
  • Have a breach response plan that has been tested and remains on the ready

Security breaches of Protected Health Information can have legal and financial consequences. An ounce of prevention is indeed worth a pound of cure!

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