The number of high-profile healthcare security breaches in recent years may make it seem as if your organisation can do little more than wait for a hacker to come calling.

But the fact is, your organisation doesn’t have to fall victim. In today’s new world of healthcare, the key is to proactively improve security & compliance measures.

Here are 3 effective ways to help protect your healthcare organisation from a breach:

 

1. Start with a Plan

It’s vital to have an enterprise-wide plan that:

  1. Includes a comprehensive risk assessment that goes beyond simply monitoring security controls to also identify what information is most valuable within your organisation;
  2. Gets 100% buy-in from all department stakeholders based on each one’s needs and;
  3. Involves security & compliance input early on.

In today’s complex healthcare environment, making improvements on a department-by-department basis is often no longer realistic or effective. Change management that helps organisations make the transition from basic installation to ongoing implementation is a critical aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked.

 

2. Track Data Workflows from the Beginning

Many healthcare organisations still capture data electronically at the end of their workflows. That means they may be copying or scanning a hardcopy document & faxing or emailing it to another destination — and possibly the wrong one — before gaining the security benefits of an electronic workflow.

 

A more secure option is to start capturing data electronically at the very beginning of the process, when it can be immediately assigned, logged & tracked. This not only generates the increased productivity, sharing & collaboration associated with digitised data, but it also increases security by providing a window into who accesses information enabling you to identify & close potential workflow gaps.

 

3. Lock Down Data at Rest, Not Just in Transit

Protected health information (PHI) should be safeguarded at all times. Yet often overlooked are the potential security issues associated with pool printers & fax machines to which anyone can walk up & take documents from their trays. Healthcare organisations may instead want to consider hardened, encrypted smart devices that keep contents secure until authorised staff enter the proper PIN or password.

 

Ultimately, being more proactive about security & compliance is going to help your organisation adeptly navigate the new world of healthcare — both across the care continuum and with your patients. Don’t wait for something to happen before taking action; be proactive now so you can reap the benefits of improved security & compliance today & well into the future.

 

Being proactive about security and compliance can help prevent future disasters. Ricoh can help you get started.