Rapid and active collaboration is a must for healthcare providers to deliver coordinated and high-quality patient care. The market is flooded with many options for collaboration tools. Many are being used by the healthcare industry to reduce medical errors, standardize processes, and establish convenient ways of working. However, negative consequences resulting from using technology in unintended ways can’t be ignored.
As the healthcare ecosystem is increasingly becoming data-centric, prioritizing privacy and security remains the top concern. Healthcare organizations are specifically targeted by cybercriminals because of the wealth of sensitive, personal, and financial information of patients they store. Hence, it is paramount for such organizations to use HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant solutions to secure healthcare data and protect their business invariably.
In a recent investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Services, around 70 percent of organizations were found non-compliant with HIPAA. In a few cases, this caused large-scale data breaches. Concurrently, many institutions were also found struggling with information security risk planning and analysis and protecting digital healthcare data called e-PHI (Protected Health Information).
Considerations to stay HIPAA compliant
To match the standards of HIPAA, covered entities such as physicians, hospitals, health insurers, etc. and cloud service providers must not expose PHI to anyone outside their organization or anyone who is not a part of this job and even destroy the data when no longer in use. Now, let us explore how this is achieved:
1. Privacy to cover patient confidentiality
It focuses on the right of individuals to control the use of their personal information, and covers the confidentiality of PHI, limiting its use and disclosure.
2. Security to deal with the protection of information
This is done by securing infrastructure with physical, technological, and administrative safeguards.
3. Imposing controls on identifiers
This is done by enforcing controls to prohibit the release of confidential information collected solely for research purposes.
4. Using codes during transactions
This is done by using codes for electronic transmission of data in healthcare-related transactions, including eligibility and insurance claims and payments.
Furthermore, let us throw some light into common practices that lead to such data vulnerabilities in non-compliant healthcare systems:
- The current way of file sharing
Using emails for communication and file transfer has been the most popular and first choice for healthcare professionals. Poor email policies jeopardize transmission security causing hackers to easily gain access to the most sensitive data of the organization.
- Mode of chat and messaging
Sharing healthcare data through text messages is inherently risky as text-messaging applications on mobile devices or smartphones lack adequate security. This violates HIPAA security law by making confidential information vulnerable to a tomyriad of threats while transmission.
- Lack of access control on PHI and other data
A damaging consequence of a noncompliance healthcare system is the lack of access control on data. To preserve data integrity, it is critical to have proper controls in place to allow access to information to authorized personnel only.
- Use of unencrypted mobile devices
It is seen that employees prominently use their personal mobile devices to share PHI and other medical content across their departments. If the device is not encrypted, it violates HIPAA security rules risking PHI data to unwanted exposure resulting from theft or fraud.
- Poor risk management plans
Due to inadequate risk management plans, healthcare organizations fail to manage risks and other uncertainties that are inevitable. Low-risk assessments increase liability exposure. The healthcare risk management plan formalizes security strategies for covered entities and business associates. This ensures that all activities, processes, and policies work to counteract potential vulnerabilities and maintain financial stability.
Apparently, this suggests that there is a low cybersecurity awareness in the healthcare industry. All that they need is a comprehensive solution to bridge the gap between clinician productivity and protection of their environment.
How TeamsHub by Cyclotron is an ideal collaboration tool for the healthcare department
TeamsHub by Cyclotron is a modern communication and collaboration platform designed to empower remote users by reducing workplace complexities to ensure a smooth and secure workflow.
Now, let us know why you must choose TeamsHub by Cyclotron for delivering an awesome clinical collaboration experience by answering the following questions:
1. Is TeamsHub by Cyclotron HIPAA compliant?
TeamsHub by Cyclotron is built on top of Microsoft Teams which is a HIPAA compliant collaboration platform and adheres to other federal standards like Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST), Service Organization Controls (SOC) 1 and 2, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and more so that you can work effectively with confidence.
If you are looking forward to digitally transforming your healthcare environment with Microsoft Teams, click here to know more. Also, to learn about Microsoft in-scope cloud services and how it meets the compliance requirements of HIPAA, click here.
2. How does TeamsHub by Cyclotron support telehealth and clinical collaboration services?
With high-quality voice, video, and content collaboration, you can enjoy virtual ways of work in real-time regardless of network, protocol, application, or device and deliver immediate results.
3. Is using a mobile device safe with TeamsHub by Cyclotron?
Yes. TeamsHub by Cyclotron ensures that the communication remains secure with built-in advanced security controls allowing users to share vital messages over any device freely.
4. How does TeamsHub by Cyclotron ensure security while file transfer?
With intelligent features like external collaboration and analytics in TeamsHub by Cyclotron, you can have complete control over your files or documents while sharing them with external parties or third-party contractors, track them, and revoke access on detecting suspicious activity.
5. What are the extra security measures TeamsHub by Cyclotron provide?
With enhanced access and audit controls, TeamsHub by Cyclotron ensures that only authorized personnel can access e-PHI. Next, with robust supervision, data transfer activities can be effectively monitored.
TeamsHub by Cyclotron also incorporates best in class features of Office365 and Azure – Azure Information Protection, Data Loss Prevention and Information Rights Management to control how your data is used.
6. How does TeamsHub by Cyclotron simplify administrative workflows?
TeamsHub by Cyclotron simplifies administration by automating Microsoft Teams governance. With a user-friendly and unified interface, TeamsHub by Cyclotron eliminates the need to perform complex programming. This way, it makes it hassle-free for administrators to improve administrative workflows and manage org-wide operations efficiently.
7. Can TeamsHub by Cyclotron be used to monitor activities?
Yes. You can effectively gain smart insights on the real-time performance of your healthcare teams, measure the progress, and make informed decisions about the betterment and prospects of your organization using TeamsHub by Cyclotron.
8. Is TeamsHub by Cyclotron easy to use for healthcare professionals?
Yes. TeamsHub by Cyclotron is a simple and easy-to-use collaboration platform for both, tech and non-tech users.
9. How long does it take to deploy TeamsHub by Cyclotron?
It takes around 1-1.5 hours for TeamsHub by Cyclotron to get deployed to your Microsoft 365 collaboration environment.,
10. Can TeamsHub by Cyclotron be customized?
Yes. TeamsHub by Cyclotron can be customized as per your organization’s unique requirements.
In the new period of remote work, healthcare services started moving faster than ever. As a result, organizations and personnel handling PHI transmitted data to billing companies, contractors, third-party vendors etc. frequently. Consequently, it created new and insecure touchpoints for data storage and access that includes localized folders, the cloud, internal messaging apps, and so on.
Hence, it is critical for healthcare organizations to stay HIPAA compliant and have appropriate security measures in place to prevent any type of unauthorized access. Without a second thought, healthcare organizations need next-gen collaboration solution with governance controls i.e., TeamsHub by Cyclotron to continue their operations and leave security risks behind.
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