Healthcare IT Support: How Working With an IT Service Provider Improves Patient Care
Healthcare IT: Free Up Your Practice to Focus on Patients
Top-rate medical practices are often let down by sub-par technical support, so it may be time to source the professional-caliber IT support services you need. However, that is sometimes easier said than done, and it’s important to know what support services your practice requires to protect your electronic health records (EHR) and the Electronic Personal Health Information (ePHI) you deal with each day.
As a physician, worrying about your healthcare IT services is not what you need to spend your day focusing on. Your job is to tend to your patients, and a company that offers a skilled support service enables you to do that. Support for your EMR/EHR software (such as NexTech) includes preventing inappropriate use, malware protection and training in best practices.
Inappropriate use often involves interaction on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, or even on your own practice’s website. Research shows that displaying ill-chosen photographs, using discriminatory language, violating patient privacy and posting negative comments are ways that medical practices may overstep ethical rules and legal regulations. A professional IT company can enable the monitoring and disabling of inappropriate use on practice computers, whether it’s inadvertent or deliberately malicious. This enables you as a physician or office manager to devote yourself to what you are specialized in instead of having to waste precious time on policing employees.
Antivirus and Malware Software
Viruses, worms and malware destroy and steal or even ransom medical records and sensitive ePHI, so it’s imperative that your practice has the proper protections in place against them. Like the human variety, viruses that attack computers are constantly mutating, doing so through the workings of Internet hackers. An IT firm of good standing always keeps your office up to date with the right selection of antivirus solutions, preventative programs and safeguards against malevolent cyber invaders, giving peace of mind to you and to your patients.
Best Practices to Avoid Malicious IT Attacks
Cyber criminals are constantly searching for valuable, vulnerable data such as:
- Names, email and physical addresses of patients and employees
- Social Security, medical ID numbers, Protected Health Information (PHI or ePHI)
- Payment card info (regulated by PCI-DSS, or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards)
This information is usually sold in bulk to the highest bidder and used for a variety of nefarious activities. Don’t risk losing your patients’ trust simply because of weak IT management.
Implementing industry standard best practices to ensure your business and office operations are secure against cyber-attacks is not always simple.
Training staff, using strong passwords that are frequently changed and limiting network access are just the beginning when implementing the necessary procedures.
Mobile devices are particularly vulnerable to cyber and physical theft, so and all patient related data needs to be encrypted before being sent across public networks. All devices, whether mobile or office-based, should be frequently backed up to preserve data. A trustworthy IT services company can develop and execute a cyber-security strategic plan for your practice.
One of the challenges faced by physicians during 2015, according to Medical Economics, is keeping abreast of modern technology. A fairly significant number of medical practices have, to their detriment, bought low-cost EHR software only to discover that support services were sadly lacking or simply nonexistent. Physicians Practice recommend that one of the most effective ways of protecting your practice against data breaches is to contract with IT support service firms that are familiar with EHR and compliance issues.
Concern about problems such as inappropriate use and cyber-attacks from hackers takes physicians away from what they do best — caring for patients. Contact our support team at Bay Computing for information about best practices to prevent malicious invasions of your electronic systems.
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