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Healthcare Technology and Beyond

senior healthcare workersSome I.T. professionals simply provide a service and rely on the technology, itself, to work as it should. This approach may be okay for some industries, but it’s especially harmful if it’s done within healthcare and it can lead to increased breaches. As trained HIPAA I.T. professionals, Data Fast Solutions not only provides secure I.T. services, but stays informed on what’s working well to provide clients with the best, knowledgeable service.

Recent data suggests that while I.T. provides the healthcare sector with many advances in patient data and care, healthcare data breaches are still increasing. In analyzing the reasons behind the breaches, Verizon’s 2018 Protected Health Information Data Breach Report found that in almost 60 percent of 1,368 security incidents, occurring in 27 countries, breaches were due to insiders or employees. Almost three-quarters of the reported incidents were in the United States.

Researchers also found that insiders being the source of breaches is unique to healthcare and they are driven by:

  • Financial Gain – 48%
  • Curiosity (viewing the personal records of celebrities or family members) – 31%
  • Simple Convenience – 10%

The study also confirmed the research published by the American Journal of Managed Care which found that paper and film were the most common locations for data breaches. In the cases studied, it occurred in 27% of incidents.

Additionally, the report found the following categories in the breaches that they studied:

  • Error – 34%
  • Misuse – 30%
  • Physical – 16%
  • Hacking – 15%
  • Malware – 11%
  • Social Engineering – 8%

Doctor paperworkIt’s obvious, by the report, that a reduction in paper data, along with more secure systems in place, can result in a reduction in the amount of security breaches. The authors of the report suggest full disk encryption (FDE) and routinely monitoring record access just as Data Fast Solutions has always recommended. However, the report also points to the need for more robust policies and procedures within a healthcare organization to combat error across all categories. How policies and procedures are changed to address the issues is unique to each organization but being proactive is key.

There are hundreds of cases in the news of breaches within healthcare that are occurring with an almost knee-jerk reaction of analysis after the fact. Just as the Verizon report shows, the approach to breaches is almost always the same. Focusing on securing ePHI and increasing training for employees is recommended and should not be taken lightly, but information provided by the media suggests that these recommendations are falling on deaf ears. That is not necessarily the case.

Perhaps, more importantly, is the need for analysis on what is working right. Data provided to healthcare I.T. professionals regarding organizations who have successfully thwarted attacks as a study in success, rather than failure, may not be newsworthy, but can possibly help more. While some healthcare companies may experience a breach, many more are using HIPAA trained I.T. professionals like Data Fast Solutions who have the knowledge and expertise to assist with I.T. policies that work. Technology, like people, is never perfect, but Data Fast Solutions learns from data breach analysis and focuses on what works well to keep PHI safe.

This article is ©2018 Data Fast Solutions • All Rights Reserved