Healthcare technology is starting to play a bigger role in patient care, greatly increasing the chances of patients’ protected health information (PHI) to be compromised. This means that it’s more important than ever for practices to keep their eyes on security trends to stay in compliance and avoid data breaches.
Here are three of the top issues practices will face this year relating to data security:
- More laws regulating data sharing with business associates (BAs). Trusting BAs with sensitive patient data is necessary to a practice’s operations. However, breaches can easily occur if PHI isn’t shared securely. This year, there will be increased legal scrutiny for these relationships. Make sure you have language in your contracts discussing the specifics of your associates’ security protocol.
- Financial woes from breaches. If practices don’t invest the money into resources needed to keep PHI safe, they will be paying for it later. With every new data breach, there will be higher fines and more lawsuits from patients and other affected parties. It will be much less costly to budget for data encryption and other security features than to face these exorbitant fees.
- Seamless data sharing. This year, there will be more pressure on practices to have electronic health records (EHR) systems that easily and securely share PHI with other healthcare providers. Be sure to discuss the possibility of such interoperability with your EHR vendor.