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How to avoid healthcare data breaches

August 06, 2012
Uncategorized By LW Consulting Inc.

Today, sharing data is easier than ever. Whether texting on a mobile phone or providing personal information over Facebook or other social media sites, sometimes individuals find themselves exposing their own private lives to acquaintances as well as strangers. If this level of endangerment is possible for the common layperson, it is all the more hazardous for hospitals that are storing private patient data.

Medical facilities at risk for HIPAA violations do not handle data securely and efficiently, thereby endangering the lives of their patients. HIPAA compliance is all the more difficult in the era of mobile health and bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives.

HealthTech Zone reported that the healthcare industry has the highest number of data breaches when compared to other businesses. Medical practices and clinics report that more than 54,000 patient records have been lost since 2009 when committing data breaches. A HIPAA violation can cost a hospital as much as $5.5 million as well as bad publicity and the loss of respectability.

However, Becker's Hospital Review outlined a number of steps that medical facilities can take in order to be HIPPA compliant. First, it is important to measure your privacy and security measures to ensure it follows state and federal laws. Also, it is vital to train healthcare staff annually on the measures of HIPAA compliance.

Along with training, a hospital's IT department should perform routine assessments on any potential problems related to these regulations. In case a data breach does occur, a medical facility can protect itself by purchasing insurance ahead of time.

A hospital consultant can help any healthcare executives or CIOs ensure that their facility is HIPAA compliant and secures patient data efficiently.