Physicians rely on the hardware, technology-mediated communication, and digital retrieval and storage of data while conducting a telehealth consultation. Adapting to digital health data makes the entire process more efficient but also at the risk of cyber threats. As both healthcare and telemedicine are reliant on technology, the growth could be undermined if privacy and security measures are not prioritized.
Instead of minting money on data recovery or repairing the damage after security threats, it is essential that health entities spend proactively on the cyber-security policies. IT compliance mistakes can severely damage the reputation of the healthcare provider, resulting in patients no longer feeling safe to provide data to the organization.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted to safeguard the patient’s data. A cybersecurity network that upholds this aspect of law with strong data security is a must for any organization. There are numerous channels through which patients can contact doctors. Even if the healthcare institute’s network is secure, the patient may be communicating with their telehealth physician from a non-secure one. Therefore, data security is paramount in the telemedicine domain.
The major challenge lies in identifying whether patients confirm the HIPAA or not. Seeking the assistance of cyber-security experts who ensure that the shared data is encoded and anonymous both ways are the best recourse. Moreover, data professionals must ensure that patients’ confidential information is protected, preventing hackers from targeting it.
• Widespread Adoption of Telehealth
Patients prefer a quick and easy way for their treatment. As the telehealth sector is evolving, more time is dedicated to patient and doctor interactions and the services are instantly transferred between patients and doctors, without the need for additional and extensive forms.
As patients find telehealth convenient, healthcare practitioners have to be more cautious about the patient’s data.
Telehealth is effective in saving costs for both the patient and the physician. Physicians would know how many people will be treated on a daily basis. Also, it would help practitioners in saving the data digitally, eliminating the need for storage and stationery costs, and would also help patients to save money on the commute.
Cybersecurity personnel can somehow protect medical institutions from hackers but controlling the outside patient activity is a challenging task. For this, organizations must have a robust authentication process before giving access to data externally, and conduct educational training programs internally.