During the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations altered the path of provider-patient interactions forever. No longer is a person-to-person interaction necessary to resolve minor to intermediate medical questions. While it is possible that interactions might return to the traditional model, chances are that both providers and patients have now grown accustomed to the new normal. Unfortunately, the use of digital environments and telehealth pathways can open the organization to fraud, remote intrusion and identity theft.
While every organization is unique, there are certain steps facilities can take to ensure the proper security protocols are in place, including:
- Ensure all meetings are private and secure: Outside of a quick phone call, organizations should channel every meeting through secure servers. Additionally, any online meeting application must be prepared beforehand. For example, the organization must ensure than any public settings have been changed to private or invite-only. This should prevent unwanted guests from accessing private information.
- Understand and use built-in security features: From digital waiting rooms and two-factor authentication to password protection and invite status, most applications contain numerous forms of built-in security. Whether it is a cost-cutting measure or an attempt to shorten wait times, many organizations circumvent these features. It is best to include these features in the standard best practices.
- Ensure security software is up to date: As cybercriminals become savvier, cybersecurity must become more sophisticated. In short, organizations must not rest on their laurels when protecting their sensitive information and the information specific to their patients.
As healthcare continues to evolve into the digital telemedicine realm, organizations must fight to remain compliant with numerous regulations while protecting themselves against malicious attacks. Further, proper cybersecurity protocols ensure that those outside the organization cannot access or abuse the patient’s sensitive information.