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Navigating the Compliance, Risk and Cybersecurity Landscape

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With a legitimate framework in place, and the proper education continually enforced, employees can universally identify both risk levels and types and, more importantly… understand exactly what these findings mean. 

Finding themselves in an environment entangled with cyber threats and potential data breaches, the map to compliance that healthcare organizations unfold often leads to a risk analysis.

But these organizations should know that the journey does not stop there.

“Many healthcare organizations are always thinking about checking that box, saying ‘Yes I did that assessment,’ Navin Balakrishnaraja, National Practice Director, Healthcare IT Services for All Covered ( IT Services, Konica Minolta) said. “It cannot be a one-time snapshot, or a one-time risk assessment.”

The journey to compliance is a continuous, ongoing process. It requires adopting a robust compliance framework and moving toward a dedicated program that is able to give healthcare facilities full visibility into their risks, and necessary steps in how to remedy them. Such a framework provides security and compliance for the foreseeable journey ahead.

The Risk Analysis is one crucial measure toward healthcare security. The process, originally mandated by HIPAA and further enforced by government programs such as Meaningful Use and now the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), is a vital (and required) component to healthcare organizations’ compliance livelihood.

A Thorough Risk Analysis includes:

• Data collection on document workflow
• Identification of potential risks and threats
• Assessment of current security measures
• Determination of the likelihood of security threats
• Determination of the level of risk
• Final documentation of risk assessment

But beyond that, below are three items to consider when constructing a secure and compliant healthcare environment that fully protects your – and your patients’ – crucial information.

1. Review Business Associate Agreements

A Risk Analysis will certainly shed light on where your facility is at in keeping information secure, current risk of breach, and the direction you must seek moving forward.

However, Balakrishnaraja says that while many organizations consider their own risks, they fail to consider the same for suppliers and other partners. For instance, are your Business Associate Agreements ensuring that they are keeping compliant with HIIPA? Organizations should consider reviewing such agreements every year.

In the end, you are the party responsible for keeping patient secure, or pay the financial consequences.

2. Visualize Non-Technical Scenarios

While many organizations accurately track technical vulnerabilities, policies and procedures must be put into place that addresses both physical safeguards and administrative safeguards. In other words, Patient Health Information could be breached under non-technical circumstances; something as simple as an employee printing information and leaving it at a printer, or someone going into a patient record and seeing information.

It all comes down to communication – from boardroom stakeholders to end users –when addressing these non-technical safeguards.

3. Continue Internal Training

Facilities must reinforce their policies and procedures internally to ensure successful implementation of any model. If everyone is not speaking the same language, it’s difficult to follow a common process.

With a legitimate framework in place, and the proper education continually enforced, employees can universally identify both risk levels and types and, more importantly… understand exactly what these findings mean.

The heavy responsibilities of keeping patient information secure, paired with the onslaught of data breaches, requires a long-term cybersecurity strategy that involves everyone within your organization. We’d love the opportunity to help you begin to understand the full breadth of risks in and around your facility, and then begin to assess, analyze and mitigate threats with robust management tools and models.

Are you ready to navigate confidently toward long-term security and compliance?

 Schedule A Datamax Network Risk Assessment today! ›

Topics: Network Security Security Healthcare Tips and Tools