Increased health care needs and constant collaboration between various medical departments are two of the main reasons why large medical practices and hospitals have integrated a mobile policy into their medical care administrative practices. This means an increased use of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets in daily interactions with patients. But as the number of health care offices using mobile technology grows, so does the number of cyber-attacks.
There are several steps that medical administrators can have their staff take, in order that their Health IT staff does not run into as many problems protection patient care information. The key to quality medical practices is the ability to create, send, receive and read medical data quickly. The more efficient a practice is at sending and receiving medical data, the faster the can provide the best care for their patients. Today it is as important as ever to insure the safety and privacy of patient medical records.
One way to protect data is to make sure that the OS is up-to-date. Both Apple and Android have operating systems that are designed to improve the end users overall experience, yet their most important role is to ensure security of data stored on the device. The Health IT staff can reduce exposure to threats by installing updates for all devices that store medical history and procedure data, as soon as the updates are available.
In addition, it would be advisable to install healthcare and medical management applications only. Social media should never be used on any mobile devices used in a medical setting. Primary sources should be used only and never apps from a third party supplier. All personnel, whether medical, maintenance or custodial must be trained to never use medical practice mobile devices for personal communications.
Medical mobile devices would be more vulnerable on open public Wi-Fi networks. It should go without saying that medical personnel should never log into a public Wi-Fi network. Hackers would be looking at these networks for an opportunity to strike.
One of the scariest scenarios would be the loss of a medical staff issued device. We all need to remember how easy it is for a mobile device to be misplaced or even stolen. Each health care provider who is issued a medical mobile device needs to be proficient in the use of such apps as, ‘Find my iPhone’, ‘GPS Phone Trakker for Android or any other device-tracing app that might be installed on their device.
Health IT staff would also need to screen SMS carefully. Let’s face it mobile technology is becoming more critical to efficient and effective treatment within the health care community. And with more devices open to attack medical practices will need to fall in line with superior security and protection methods.