Data breaches have been on the rise in healthcare for many years, reaching record heights of 376 data breaches and nearly 16 million records in 2016. Hacking, phishing and ransomware have all made headlines in 2016 for healthcare, though most successful attacks begin with a simple mistake or unprotected device.
Endpoint Devices Support Patient-Centric Care
In a recent article on Business Mirror, Susan Biddle examined The role of endpoint security in health-care IT environment, balancing the value of endpoint devices in patient-centric care with the added security risks these devices introduce.
It’s very common to see smartphones, tablets and laptops being used inside today’s hospitals, and the data that’s being accessed needs to be secured, from the Internet to the endpoint. This data often contains sensitive medical information that’s being shared between health-care professionals, including medical imaging data, transcriptions, prescriptions and more, and typically needs to be vetted by a number of different individuals (physicians, employers, claims processors, etc.) to determine protocols and procedures.
This need for a collaborative digital workspace to enable internal and external collaboration makes it critical that endpoint security be taken seriously. Without appropriate endpoint security solutions in place, health-care systems will not be able to enhance their existing systems and processes without an overabundance of risk.
The balance of function and security is acute in healthcare, where insecure devices and networks place patient care at risk but overly restrictive technologies put undue restrictions on clinician workflow, decreasing care effectiveness. A report sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth College and the University of Southern California found that clinicians and nurses are likely to bypass restrictive technologies in order to deliver on patient care, whether that’s failing to log out of a workstation or sending time-critical messages over insecure text message services. While well intentioned, these actions violate HIPAA guidelines and place patient data at risk on endpoint devices.
Securing Healthcare Communications on the Endpoint
An effective communication hub not only facilitates communication among the care team, it provides enough “value add” that these technologies will not be bypassed. Messaging receipts, auto-escalation, single and group messages to a care team pulled directly from the EMR are features that have boosted the adoption rate of Telmediq's Healthcare Communications Hub. We’ve evolved beyond simple communications to offer an integrated healthcare workspace, retrieving and inputting data to the EMR, pushing through lab results and alarms and so much more.
But we also know the importance of security. Telmediq's Healthcare Communications Hub effectively containerizes ePHI, protecting it during storage and transmission, protecting it against application infiltration and against accidental exposure. You can rely on:
- 2 Factor & Biometric Authentication
- End-to-end data encryption
- Message lifespan controls
- Remote control lock & wipe
- Intrusion detection and alarming
- Audit logging
Although we don’t market ourselves as an endpoint security solution, we do provide an integral layer of security for healthcare communications. Learn more about how to simplify - and secure - your healthcare communications with Telmediq.