Communication in Healthcare Facilities

We know that the healthcare industry is one of the largest targets for cyberattacks — and now, steps are being taken to increase the security of devices used in healthcare. You’ve increased your security by adding firewalls, unique login codes, and robust anti-virus software. But unfortunately, there is one thing that most people overlook when trying to lessen their chances of the next cyberatttack. How do you communicate?

When it comes to communication, some healthcare facilities are behind in technology. The use of dated devices like pagers, call routers, and fax machines are still being used to transfer important information from healthcare employee to patient or employee to employee. Having outdated technology increases your risk of being hacked. Updating communication technology can bring your organization into the 21st century as well as boost your security protection.

However, emails and messaging still leave the chance of getting hacked. And with transferring sensitive information like health records, hackers are drawn to them. So, the best thing for healthcare facilities to do is find a more secure messaging and texting system. SMS texting, the most-used texting system, should not be your choice. SMS texting is not secure. A tip is to look for systems that allow and offer security, because even if some messages sent are not important, others can be. Tom Saine of Spok told about why some health professionals might forget about how important the data really is. He says, “providers can become so accustomed to seeing data, they might lose sight that it is really protected data.” For this reason, a good step is to reinforce the importance of secure data to employees during cyber training.

When you’ve decided to begin the process of adopting a more secure form of communicating, you need to keep some things in mind. First, is it HIPAA compliant? To find out, check to see all the regulations that go into making texting systems HIPAA compliant. Second, is your IT department health-focused? It is important to have an IT department that is accustomed to the healthcare industry, because the IT required for the healthcare industry is vastly different than the IT for accounting or finance.

When setting up better security, don’t forget about how the healthcare facility communicates. Consider looking into a more secure way of communication for your organization — your cyber security will benefit from it.