Securing Healthcare Data Impedes Patient Care

Those in the healthcare field are at times forced to choose between protecting patient information or providing efficient care. Some estimates reveal that physicians can spend up to 90 minutes of their workday entering passwords and gaining access to records that are safely protected by multiple layers of security. In addition, the digitization of medical records has resulted in extensive documentation procedures that decrease the amount of time physicians spend with their patients. Healthcare consultants and experts believe that a solution to these problems must be comprehensive and must involve training of every health care provider.

Amal Cheema writes in the Huffington Post that the internet of things has created cybersecurity loopholes that can be exploited by hackers. She also points to lack of digital expertise among healthcare workers as a contributor to security breaches. The fact that healthcare workers regularly receive trainings and updates on a variety of concerns, incorporating cybersecurity training is possible and effective. Viruses and worms, the agents behind ransomware, enter secure systems through user emails and downloads. Caution must be used by all employees, alongside passwords and other security measures.

In terms of time spent with patients, doctors and other providers frequently work around security measures and take shortcuts rather than having to navigate time-consuming protocols. Cheema writes that streamlined security will lessen this practice. Data segregation and simpler authentication techniques are two ways security can be streamlined. In addition, uniform regulations and security procedures would also alleviate some of the confusion and frustration doctors and patients experience.

Though many industries are impacted by cybersecurity issues, healthcare remains one of the few where cybersecurity gaps can directly cause harm.

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