Why does cyber security matter in healthcare? 

Cybersecurity is a crucial aspect of healthcare as it ensures the protection of sensitive patient information from cyber-attacks. With the increasing use of technology in healthcare, such as electronic health records, telemedicine, and an increase in remote workers, the risk of data breaches and cyber-attacks has also increased.  

The consequences of a cyber-attack in healthcare can be devastating because it can compromise patient privacy, lead to identity theft, and disrupt the delivery of critical healthcare services. Moreover, healthcare organizations that fail to protect patient information can face legal and financial penalties. All these factors combined mean that understanding your healthcare organization’s cyber security is more important than ever! 

Healthcare Cyber-Attacks: The Numbers 

Healthcare organizations are highly targeted by hackers because electronic health records contain so much information. These records have patient health information, personally identifying information, and financial information all stored together. 

A study covering cyber insecurity in healthcare found that 89% of healthcare organizations surveyed experienced at least one cyberattack in the past 12 months. These cyberattacks have been shown to correlate with a negative impact on client care as well. 

Therefore, it is essential for healthcare organizations to prioritize cyber security. 

Healthcare Cyber Security: How to do it  

Healthcare organizations need to take steps to implement robust security measures such as firewalls, encryption, and regular security audits. If you’re in leadership, work on reframing cyber security from a technology issue to a risk-management issue within your organization and be willing to prioritize your security program.  

Staffing can be a challenge in the IT space, and if your healthcare organization is struggling to recruit IT talent to invest in your security, consider outsourcing to a reputable IT company that can help you protect your PHI. 

Additionally, all staff members should be trained to identify and prevent cyber threats. Different positions need different levels of training, but if you teach your whole team to view cyber security as a part of providing quality patient care, it empowers them to view themselves as “proactive defenders of patients and their data” and can help everyone on your team vigilantly keep their eyes open for potential cyber security issues and pay attention to security details.  

Finally, ensure that any company you work with outside of our healthcare organization takes your cyber security seriously. Practice Management has multiple cyber security features in place – you can check them out here – and any company that has access to your PHI should be openly communicative and diligent with their dynamic security strategy. 

In an increasingly digital world, cyber security matters in healthcare because it safeguards patient privacy and ensures the continuity of critical healthcare services. Healthcare organizations and professionals must take proactive steps to protect patient information from cyber-attacks to maintain the trust and confidence of patients.