Maintaining HIPAA compliance is critical for all healthcare organizations, and this requires protecting patient information from data breaches at all times. However, just because the stakes are high, with possibilities for everything from legal repercussions to lost patients, medical establishments still find themselves losing track of crucial information. In order to ease the process of managing highly sensitive records, it may be productive for hospitals to embrace remote database services for heightened security.
According to the Smart Data Collective, a recent incident at Advocate Health Care has become the second largest HIPAA data breach since 2009, when the breach notification rule was first enacted. The source reported that the compromise involved the theft of four unencrypted laptops containing more than 4 million patient records. The documents contained private information such as health insurance details and diagnoses.
The news provider stated that a senior vice president from Advocate has already announced the organization is taking steps toward preventing future problems. The company is mapping its software and computer systems in hopes of pinpointing where patient data is actually held and how it can be better safeguarded. Smart Data Collective pointed out that once Advocate has determined where its sensitive records reside, it will be able to classify documents based on privacy needs and select the right encryption methods to address them.
Theft runs rampant
Physicians Practice noted that when it comes to healthcare data breaches, the causes are often relatively low-tech, such as in Advocate's case. In fact, the source said a report from the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) has revealed that the more significant starting point for HIPAA security incidents is loss or theft of portable devices, including laptops, smartphones, flash drives and other media.
What this means for many medical organizations is that the answer to their most pressing information safety concerns involves implementing a number of solutions. While it's certainly critical to guard data through encryption, it's equally crucial that databases are being protected by experts who are able to offer highly secure, compliant environments and services. By leveraging remote dba experts, hospitals and health practices can reduce the potential for compromises and achieve greater peace of mind in the process.