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5 Data Security Challenges for Health Informatics Professionals to Keep in Mind

If you want to work in the field of health informatics, you should love working with computers. And you should enjoy solving problems and have an interest in cyber security. A big part of informatics is keeping data safe, since privacy is such an important expectation for patients.

As you keep that in mind, there are 5 healthcare data security issues that you should know of as a health informatics professional.



1.) Viruses and software updates.

Hopefully, your facility is set up with a network that lets you or your team handle all the software updates and virus scans without going from desk to desk. But you will want to make sure that everyone who uses a computer, especially those who use the Internet for personal use, update their operating software and pay attention to their virus software.

To minimize this issue, have a procedure for analyzing office computers and other equipment that stores secure information to make sure they are up to par with your healthcare data security standards.

2.) Mobile and Medical device security.

We all know that websites sometimes do not translate from desktop to mobile applications very well. This is also true when it comes to mobile technology and health information security. Not all devices are as safe as others, and hackers know this more than anyone.

If you work in healthcare informatics, you should know how to help develop systems that work safely on all types of devices. This has been a challenge in patient monitoring technology when software updates are taking place.

3.) Educating co-workers and users of applications, and others who interact with private data.

Have security and healthcare privacy discussions, trainings, webinars and other ways you can ensure your coworkers understand their role in keeping data secure and using best security practices for the workplace. Likewise, in content that is user-facing, make sure you educate the patient about their role in keeping their information secure, especially with information stored on their smart phones.

4.) Phishing campaigns.

If you think only grandma falls for email phishing scams, think again. Sophisticated phishing campaigns can help criminals intercept private data. Sometimes this is achieved through official looking emails that fool workers in healthcare facilities. This is where training comes in.

Since your team can't review every email that comes in, you can train employees how to spot questionable messages and unofficial design elements. Then they will know when to raise concerns to others before divulging potentially damaging information.

5.) Data breaches.

If you check your Google Analytics for your facility in Ohio, and a significant source of traffic is coming from far away places in foreign countries, there are probably hackers trying to infiltrate your system. Hackers are a problem in every industry.

With so much personal information required for patients to receive care, you can only imagine how valuable personal info from hospitals could be. When you work in informatics, you will need to help create a plan of action for keeping your networks safe, and procedures for dealing with threats as they happen, and if they occur.

As you lead your patients, employees and your own famililes through the ever increasing web of healthcare informatics, learn more about how you can expand your education in HIT by contacting the schools below for additional information.