Securing Patient Data Against the Disruption of Downtime
When an EHR system goes offline, simply put, it slows everything and everyone down. Downtime creates frustration among caregivers since they cannot easily look up patient information. This inability increases safety concerns since conveniences such as calculating dosages and looking up drug interactions are suddenly unavailable and costly, placing greater pressures on everyone in the hospital to not make mistakes. The extra pressure may expose that caregivers rely too much on computers instead of humans to deliver patient care. It is not an extraordinary assumption that if an EHR/computer system is down, there could be a higher likelihood of sentinel events.
The healthcare industry is ripe with opportunity for the introduction of new technologies to enhance care delivery and the overall patient experience, streamline operations and more. These opportunities also open the door to the potential for more cyber-attacks and lost or stolen data. It is past time for IT healthcare professionals to review of privacy and security policies and procedures. Healthcare organizations should also insist that their service level agreements (SLAs) with a technology provider specify agreed upon security objectives and outline processes for ensuring compliance. It’s not a cure-all, but it can help facilitate more effective data loss prevention.
To learn more about prioritizing data protection in your healthcare IT strategy, check out this article from Healthcare IT News.