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BYOD policies could increase risk of hospital data breaches

December 12, 2012
Uncategorized By LW Consulting Inc.

As businesses across all industries try to evolve with changing technologies, an increasingly popular trend, which allows employees to use their own mobile devices for work tasks, has grown steadily. Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) implementation can be extremely beneficial, especially as since many individuals own smartphones and tablets.

For the healthcare field, though, it's crucial that these organizations do not commit any HIPAA violations. Partnering with a hospital consultant can ensure that all employees are properly educated in necessary security measures.

This blog has previously discussed the importance of medical facilities taking precautions to keep themselves HIPAA compliant. Not doing so could result in large fines for the hospital or even patients choosing to go elsewhere for care, so that their information remains safe.

A survey from Spyglass Consulting Group found that, "more than two-thirds of hospitals surveyed for a new study reported that their nurses use their personal smartphones while on the job for personal and clinical communications ... [but] IT support for those devices is lacking."

President and CEO of Entegration Art Gross, wrote in a recent blog post that healthcare workers who don't think their smartphones are a threat to security can be severely detrimental to their firm. For example, even if email is only used for internal communications, and not with patients, that information is still on the phone. If it's lost or stolen, the data could be used for illegal purposes.

Chris Petersen, CTO of LogRhythm, told CSO that he is not surprised that smaller organizations are much more vulnerable to data breaches, as they often don't have full-time staff who are devoted to data security.

Regardless of an organization's size, medical facilities have to take extreme care with how they handle patient information. A hospital consultant who specializes in healthcare IT consulting can ensure that employees are properly educated in any new technologies and understand how to remain HIPAA compliant.