Healthcare organizations are tasked with one of the greatest responsibilities in the world—treating our sick family, friends, and neighbors. As if that wasn’t difficult enough on its own, the healthcare industry now finds itself besieged by a growing number of cyberthreats as well.
According to one Experian report, healthcare was expected to be the number one target for hackers in 2017. Of course, physicians cannot be expected to be security experts as well. Nonetheless, the issue cannot be ignored.
Some doctors are choosing to address the healthcare cybersecurity issue by turning to telehealth providers. This emerging telecommunications technology provides a number of strategic advantages when it comes to improving healthcare cybersecurity:
Patient Training for Healthcare Security Best Practices
Telehealth services providers will often consult and provide support for patients first learning how to use medical devices or other hardware. Chief among this training is cybersecurity. By teaching your patients the best practices for safe tech consumption, you can mitigate your exposure to risk.
Encrypted Communication Program
Depending on who you choose as your telecommunications and telehealth partners, your organization may be able to build an encrypted communication program for your telehealth system. This allows for fully-secured messaging that cannot be accessed by a third-party.
Patient Identity Verification
Identity theft is a big problem in the industry. But in cases where telehealth providers are also deploying home health aides, your organization will have someone on-site to verify that your patient is who they claim to be.
Healthcare Mobile Device Management for Lost or Stolen Equipment
Not all cybercrime is conducted online. By physically stealing someone’s healthcare device, you can also gain access to their medical and personal records. Telehealth services providers that offer mobile device management can remotely access lost medical devices to wipe them before the information they contain can be used against the patient.
High-Speed Broadband Promises Expansion of Private Wi-Fi
Secure, private Wi-Fi connections will ultimately be one of the deciding factors as to whether or not telehealth will succeed. Fortunately, broadband penetration once again reached a record high last year. Even underserved rural areas are being opened up thanks to federal programs that began under the Obama administration and continue today.
Healthcare organizations won’t see improvements to their cybersecurity strategies simply by adopting telehealth solutions. But if they select the right ones for their organization, and the right telehealth partner, there is an opportunity to beat the hackers that threaten the livelihood of you and your patients.