It is becoming increasingly critical for providers to have full control and visibility into patient information and how it is shared externally with specialists, researchers, other facilities or insurers. The ramifications of not knowing where patient information is stored, who has access to it, or what’s being done with it, can lead to a data breach, compliance violation – or both.
There are a number of reasons organizations need to share data securely: a doctor collaborating with a specialist on a particular case, a remote care facility transferring a patient (and her records) to a hospital, a medical staff sending a patient’s treatment summary to his insurer. Advancements in medicine and technology, however, as well as growing data sets have placed a growing burden on healthcare IT systems. A single patient’s information is likely scattered across a modern-day hospital. EHR systems like Epic and Cerner, ECM systems like SharePoint Online and Open Text, CRM systems like Salesforce and SugarCRM, ERP systems like Oracle and SAP and others all hold patient data. And new systems and devices are constantly being added.
Connecting these systems is a challenge, accessing the information on these systems is another. HIPAA requires that healthcare organizations know precisely where patient information is stored and who has access to it (hint: not everyone should have access to patient information). Unauthorized access – whether it’s a hacker, a staff member who falls victim to a phishing attempt or nosy administrator curious about a celebrity patient – are all real threats to hospitals. Data breaches and subsequent HIPAA violation fines are on the rise and there is no indication that the problem is going to get better anytime soon.
It’s not all doom and gloom. Healthcare CIOs, CISOs, and IT departments have a prime opportunity to capture and leverage all the data being generated to achieve the highest levels of security, demonstrate compliance and maintain existing workflows.
To learn how proper governance is essential – and possible – to maintain patient privacy as well as ensure regulatory compliance, click below to download our eBook: Transforming Care with Governance Over External File Sharing.