Is the Data Really Safe in Healthcare IT?

Is the Data Really Safe in Healthcare IT?

Healthcare Tech Outlook | Friday, November 30, 2018

In the present scenario, the healthcare systems are viewed as a single entity in which the patient’s medical records are maintained in a digital patient record format, which helps in improving the overall quality as well as reducing the cost of medical services. Typically, three to five percent of the revenue is spent by IT sectors in maintaining the health of the employees, and the information captured will be stored in an online medical database. But, due to the lack of standard security measures, the information captured suffer from data breaches, which lead to patients exposed to threats, possible social stigma, and mental anguishes. Moreover, the patients are hesitating to share the correct information, which leads to weakening the bond between patient and physician, resulting in inaccurate results.

But as the technology advances, the patient’s data is stored and retrieved in an authentic manner which is free from security breaches. As per the American Health Information Management Association, patients are ensuring extra care in providing information due to the complex nature of health IT and its common electronic distribution systems.

According to the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, the patients should trust the digital health technology on keeping their data secure and private. IT organizations should maintain high trust factor amongst the patients so that the patients will believe that their data is safe and they can disclose the information without fear or hesitation.

In the year 2017, numerous data breaches have been observed, and one particular example amongst them was the Indiana-based Cancer Services Center, where the internet server was hacked, its security algorithm was encrypted, and a massive amount of data was taken by The Dark Overlord, popular cybercriminal organization.

In order to prevent breaches, professionals from health informatics have developed certain measures which are given to the department of health and human services. The preventive measures comprise the development of security culture, and staff members are educated with cybersecurity. Usage of firewall should be highly secured and periodic maintenance has to be followed to ensure there are no breaches. Usage of strong password along with providing security at the physical control layer of the device helps in transferring the data to the authorized person.

Furthermore, understanding the economics and effectiveness of the context-based security helps in achieving better information integrity leading to less medical errors.  In future, by deploying an efficient authentication algorithm which addresses both privacy, as well as security, can help in protecting the patient information in IT health sector.


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