“Is my data safe?” This is a question that’s on everyone’s mind lately. It’s an issue your patients will have definitely thought a lot about and also one you have probably pondered yourself, both from an individual and a business perspective.
Today, your ability to answer that question affirmatively when your patients ask is of critical importance. It can help differentiate you from your competitors and even tip the scales when securing new business.
Besides clear cut advantages in helping establish your practice as the provider of choice in your field, you can also help mitigate your risks (and they can be significant) should the data you collect be compromised.
The Digital Age Brings Many Boons and Risks
Digitization has transformed every business sector, including medical practices. In virtually every instance, the introduction of computer systems comes with vast benefits. Medical practices, in particular, have seen revolutionary benefits.
Today, your practice can consolidate all of your business services and marketing functions within a single platform, like a PatientNOW EMR, and automate nearly every aspect of your business, leveraging significant efficiencies.
For example, appointments can be calendared, past medical records can be retrieved, pre and post-operative instructions can be sent to your patients and prescriptions can be transmitted to your client’s pharmacy of choice, all instantaneously.
Inventory can also be continually monitored and controlled. Technology can add even more value to your practice when patient engagement automation, which allows you to manage multiple patient touchpoints with maximum efficiency and minimal cost, is included in your EMR.
Yet the Threat to Patient Data Is Real and Can Be Devastating and Costly
Yet this incredible power comes with certain dangers. To grasp the potential risks of online solutions — and their potential impact on your practice — consider these recent data breaches at some of the world’s largest corporations.
Yahoo’s 2013 data breach — one of only several recent major breaches — compromised the data of 3 billion users. That is close to half of the world’s 7.7 billion population.
A year later, an eBay security breach exposed the data of an additional 145 million users. And Equifax’s breach put 143 million users at risk in 2017. Eight other major security breaches also occurred between 2005 and 2017.
During the same time period, an additional 8,000 “minor” breaches occurred. Although more limited in scope, the potential consequences to individuals and businesses from any one of these smaller incidents carry the same frightening consequences.
Here’s Why You Can’t Afford Not To Protect Your and Your Patients’ Data
Successful hacking attacks like these have the potential to cause enormous harm to consumers. Data – such as legal names, addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers and bank account and credit card numbers — can directly fuel identity theft and financial fraud schemes. Adding sensitive medical information to this list can lead to even greater harm.
The damage and disruption to affected individuals can be extreme and devastating, often resulting in lengthy and expensive class-action litigation suits. The liability that corporations face as a result of failure to protect their customers’ data can be monumental.
Equifax, for example, agreed to an over $575 million settlement with affected customers, with some individuals eligible for up to $20,000 in compensation. Few but the largest corporations can sustain these damages and remain solvent and viable entities.
The Healthcare Industry Continues To Embrace on Online Data Hosting
However, the potential risks inherent in data hosting solutions have not deterred major healthcare corporations from relying on electronic medical records. Healthcare providers have continued to embrace this trend, even while facing heightened risks.
For example, Ascension Health has recently partnered with Google in a deal that would have the Internet giant host up to 50 million patient records. Ascension is the second largest healthcare provider in the United States.
The overwhelming benefits of online EMRs explain this trend. Yet if global corporations with advanced IT infrastructure and security systems are at risk of a data breach, how can you defend your patient resources with more modest IT budgets and resources?
Your PatientNOW EMR gives you all the tools you need to run your practice efficiently — and safely!
Even small medical practices can easily adopt stringent, world-class IT security measures that will protect their practice and patient data from all but the most aggressive attacks, giving you and your patients maximum peace of mind. The benefits and value of implementing an information security system in your practice speak for themselves.
Protecting Your Patients Data Can Safeguard Your Reputation (and Help You Avoid Legal Problems)
We have already mentioned many of the advantages of implementing a secure EMR in your practice, above. A secure EMR can shield critical patient data from hackers who can sell or use that information for illegal financial gains. You can also reduce your risk of litigation due to negligence by taking industry-standard data security measures to protect this information.
By limiting access to data — through user-based authentication, networking firewalls and secure-access server rooms, for example — you can reduce your risk of attack and breach significantly. PatientNOW includes all of these features while still giving you and your staff unfettered access to the information you need when you need it so you can run your practice effectively.
Strong Patient Security Can Help You Convert New Patients and Retain Current Ones
Patient data safeguards offer additional advantages. Since patients today demand that their providers carefully protect their personal information, practices with PatientNOW EMRs can confidently demonstrate the measures they have taken when asked about data security. These measures can increase patient confidence in the practice, enabling more conversions and helping practices retain current patients who share these same concerns.
PatientNOW’s Data Security Measures Extend Your Patient Care
Your ability to prevent the unsolicited use of your patients’ personal information may not determine whether your prospect selects you for their surgery. However, it provides additional evidence of your concern for their wellbeing – which today also extends to their data – and it helps keep you stay competitive with other practices that have already taken similar steps to secure their client’s data.
Information security may never have been a primary concern during your medical training and you may even have practiced medicine for years without having to consider the issue. Today, treating your patients effectively — and even winning their trust in the first instance — depends on having a methodology to keep their body and data safe. With a PatientNOW EMR, however, you can accomplish this quickly and easily so you can focus on your core competency — improving your patients’ wellbeing.
Call PatientNOW today to learn more about how to keep your patients safe and grow your business!
If you have a PatientNOW EMR with cloud support, you already enjoy the peace of mind of knowing your online data is safe. If you don’t yet have a PatientNOW EMR, there is no better time to call. One of our friendly representatives can quickly get you started on automating all critical aspects of your practice and giving you among the industry’s most robust data security footprints. Call us at 888-644-2987 today!
PatientNOW — ensuring the right outcomes for our clients every day.