“Bring your own device” (BYOD) to work is a popular and growing trend. The medical community has embraced BYOD as more practices are implementing the use of Electronic Health Records (EHR).
Using these devices has enhanced patient experience and quality of care, but many healthcare facilities don’t meet HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act) and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) security guidelines, putting confidential patient files at risk and potentially facing non-compliance fines.
The risk of BYOD in medical practices stems from a lack of policy and secure practice. It’s estimated that 41% of healthcare employees are using devices that are not adequately password protected while 38% of practices themselves don’t verify the security of those devices. Unprotected devices accessing a network can pose a serious risk for exposure of confidential patient records.
As many as 53% of clinical staff using personal devices will often access unsecured Wi-Fi networks when they are offsite from the same device they use on the job. Whenever a device accesses an unsecured Wi-Fi connection the risk of picking up spyware or malware increases.
Adopting security policies compliant with HIPAA and HITECH laws can help prevent these issues. Simple policies like issuing secure passwords and user names, remote tracking applications on personal devices that erase sensitive data if they become lost of stolen, and the use of malware scanning can help increase security.
Talk to an IT security expert experienced in HIPAA and HITECH law to keep your employees and patients safe and protect your facility from breaches and fines.