By Christine Kern, contributing writer
Today’s rapidly changing healthcare technology landscape means providers are increasingly reliant upon mobile devices as integral elements in the care delivery experience for patients. In order to help providers make sense of the crush of mobile technology and security, Insight Enterprises released a list of the top five traits healthcare organizations should look for when selecting mobile security software. Insight identified the following key factors:
- purpose-built for healthcare
- compliance savvy
- accommodates unstructured data
- secures endpoints and network
- flexible deployment
Having software specifically designed for healthcare is a crucial element for providers who need to better sort through massive amounts of healthcare data. As Health IT Security writes, it is critical to find third-parties that understand the healthcare segment when it comes to integrating new technologies, like migration to the cloud. There are now segmented environments available that process PHI securely.
“This gives healthcare organizations the chance to offload specific workloads and extend it into the cloud,” author Bill Kleyman wrote. “The key is ensuring that your point-to-point connections are secure and that there is constant visibility between data migration. Otherwise, crafting the appropriate SLA and ensuring you have the right kind of cloud architecture for your healthcare data is not a bad way to go.”
Healthcare also must comply with federal regulations, including HIPAA. That places greater expectations on security protocols for providers than might be necessary in other industries. Recent large-scale breaches also underscore the need for covered entities to remain current and compliant with all federal, state, and local regulations when it comes to protecting patient data.
As Health IT Outcomes writes, “The maintenance of an IT infrastructure and its security policies are critical to the success of any healthcare operation’s HIPAA compliance program.”
Secure messaging services are being increasingly sought after by younger patients, according to a Technology Advice survey. Specifically, 35 percent of surveyed 25- to 34-year-olds reported secure messaging services offered outside of office hours were a desired service. The survey also found online appointment scheduling, online bill pay functionality, and online test results are all top priorities for patients.
The proliferation of mobile devices in use by patients, visitors, and clinicians means a solution that can enable the mobile workforce and protect against data theft while also improving patient experiences is imperative.
Finally, flexible deployment is also an important issue for healthcare organizations. According to Insight, “Providers should ensure that mobile security solutions can be deployed both for on premise infrastructure and cloud environments.”
“Whether you are tasked with running an international business or 500 bed hospital, data security is an extremely critical issue, and one that has caused a lot of headaches this past year,” said Dave Cristal, VP and GM, Insight Public Sector. “With more physicians and clinical staff members using smartphones and tablets as part of their daily work, the opportunities for security breaches drastically increases. It’s vital for providers to take the necessary steps to protect their data, while using the latest intelligent technology solutions to improve patient care.”