Recently there has been a lot of talk about cyberattacks on healthcare organizations around the world. While attacks like this are uncommon, it reminds us that maintaining security of devices, systems, and networks is of utmost importance to reduce your home health & hospice security risk.

Here are five tips to follow to reduce your security risk and keep your sensitive data secure:

  1. Conduct a risk analysis: The HIPAA Security Rule requires covered entities to maintain reasonable and appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards for protecting personal health information (PHI). Conducting a risk analysis will enable you to review many aspects of your health care practices to identify potential security weaknesses and flaws.
  2. Enable authorization: Access to all devices, applications, and systems should be limited to authorized staff only and password protected with a strong, regularly changed password.
  3. Use anti-virus software: All portable devices, including laptops, smart phones, and tablets should have security software installed. They protect against malicious applications, viruses, spyware, and malware-based attacks. Regular updates of the software should be made to ensure that your devices are protected by the latest version.
  4. Enable a firewall: Firewalls can protect against unauthorized connections by intercepting incoming and outgoing connection attempts and blocking or permitting them based on a set of rules.
  5. Limit access to devices: It is important to limit the chances that devices may be tampered with, lost, or stolen. Limit physical access by locking up devices when they are not in use and implement a system to monitor who has what device when.

Everyone at your agency plays a role in ensuring the privacy and security of electronic health information. As an agency partner, HEALTHCAREfirst has a number of security standards and practices in place to ensure the safety of our customers’ data. Equipment is hosted in a physically secure, guarded facility that requires badge and biometric access. All hosts on the HEALTHCAREfirst network are protected by at least two firewalls using a “secure by default” rule design, and all traffic between HEALTHCAREfirst and its customers is authenticated and protected by cryptographic technology when PHI is involved.

HEALTHCAREfirst offers secure, HIPAA-compliant solutions that enable home health and hospice agencies to streamline operations and put patients before paperwork. For more information, contact us today.