Why HIPAA is Important to Patients: Finding Technologies to Protect Data

Drew Laroche

We’re definitely living in a more complex and volatile world where anything can happen, and digital technology only makes it more challenging. In the medical world, this obviously added more stress to you and your medical staff over the last several years. With hacking problems seemingly happening every hour now, it’s close to playing Russian Roulette (maybe literally) with many of your patient records.

However, it’s not always about hacking. Natural disasters could occur, placing a lot of your digital records in jeopardy. Without proper tools in place, it could lead to widespread problems for you and your patients that seem impossible to repair.

If you still wonder why HIPAA is important to patients, it’s because the risks are far greater and the need to fix things needs more vigilance.
The solution is to find the best technologies available to protect data. Here’s some of the best tools available today to help you keep HIPAA compliant year-round.

Why HIPAA is Important to Patients: Finding Technologies to Protect Data
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)
No doubt you’ve heard plenty about VoIP technology, though haven’t bothered to invest because you’re too complacent with what you already use. Consider that using regular analog phones brings privacy dangers since a lot of people within your company could listen in on calls. You may not want everyone in your company having access to private patient data.

The same goes with how you store call data. If you have an on-site server to store information about patients based on calls, it could easily become compromised. Hackers could get in and steal information without you even knowing it immediately.

In a natural disaster scenario, using phones becomes even riskier. An on-site server could become destroyed, hence losing every shred of patient information. All your analog phones would be gone in a flash if you had a flood or earthquake.
VoIP gives you wireless technology so you’re sure your calls are private. Plus, with many VoIP systems integrated to the cloud, all call data has easy off-site storage for immediate retrieval during major disasters.Business Continuity Planning
You absolutely need a business continuity plan if you don’t have one now. Without it, you could again lose all your patient data if stored on-site. This only places you into jeopardy with HIPAA violations and losing patient trust.

In addition, consider that if a hacker infects you with a major virus (like ransomware), it could cripple your systems for days. Patients wouldn’t have access to their records, and it’s possible they’d lose this data forever.Disaster Recovery Planning
If you’ve already made a good business continuity plan, it’s time to focus on disaster recovery planning as well. Working out a plan here helps you keep your medical practice afloat when major disasters like the ones listed above occur.

Reputation is enough to keep you in business, though HIPAA fines can place you in major financial hot water. Not taking special care to adhere to HIPAA regulations and losing data due to complacency isn’t going to bring any forgiveness from patients.

Many HIPAA fines are steep, and placing yourself in financial trouble could end up forcing you to shut your doors permanently.

Visit us at SecureNetMD® so we can help you stay continually HIPAA compliant through our IT consulting services.

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