How to Improve IT Security in the Medical Workplace

The medical workplace is a little different from many other offices or companies – for one, there’s nothing routine about a hospital even though there are established routines and procedures; and for another, security is of immense importance because there are laws protecting patient data and because information in the wrong hands could end up creating costly errors and accidents. So it is imperative that security in IT departments of medical workplaces like hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other healthcare settings be stepped up and maintained at the highest level. To do this:
  • The administrators of healthcare facilities must work in tandem with members of the IT department to ensure that certain security standards are in place and effected rigorously.
  • Efficient and tamper-proof EMR systems must be set up, with security and accuracy sharing the spotlight.
  • Strict security measures must be put in place to check the background and trustworthiness of all the employees who handle sensitive data.
  • Protocol and hierarchy must be established to allow access to patient data and other records so that the data is protected and to identify responsibility when and if a breach occurs.
  • Doctors and others in responsible positions must be trained in accessing patient records and information from remote locations using their mobile devices. Care must be taken to avoid downloading sensitive data into portable devices and allowing these gadgets to fall into the wrong hands.
  • Passwords must be changed on a regular basis to avoid tampering with the records.
  • Care must be taken not just while accessing the records but also while updating or correcting them.
  • Appropriate levels of access must be granted according to the stature of importance of and the designation of the employee who is allowed access to patient records. Some may only be allowed to read a few fields in every record, others have access to the entire record, and yet others enjoy carte blanche with powers to modify and even delete records.
IT security in medical workplaces is of vital importance not just when it comes to safeguarding the privacy of patients but also in helping to prevent and eliminate medical errors. The records comprise the medical histories of patients, and when they are accurate and tamper-proof, they augur well for a healthcare setting with fewer errors and a higher cure rate.