What can you do to protect patient health information and improve healthcare security?

Too many healthcare organizations are suffering an increasing number of data breaches and facing the potential loss of patient information. Worse, many don’t know how to identify next-generation vulnerabilities and are unprepared for future attacks. Make sure you’re not one of them by following these healthcare security best practices.

Unfortunately, ensuring complete data security in healthcare may be more challenging in 2017. According to the Ponemon Institute’s Sixth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy & Security of Healthcare Data, data breaches in the healthcare industry are continuing to grow in terms of volume, frequency, impact and total cost.

Most notably, nearly 90 percent of responding healthcare organizations reported a data breach in the past two years, and nearly half of those organizations experienced five or more data breaches in the same time period.

Other findings were equally interesting (and cause for concern):

  • The number of successful attacks on medical files, billing information, and insurance records increased.
  • Worse, these records contain the most valuable patient data and are often the source of successful attacks (64 percent and 45 percent of respondents, respectively).
  • There are many different reasons for these data breaches. According to the study:
    • Fifty-five percent of organizations believed lost data was the result of unintentional employee action,
    • Fifty-two percent said it was caused by a third-party snafu or mix-up,
    • Forty-one percent reported it was the result of a criminal attack, and
    • Only six percent thought data lost was due to intentional, non-malicious employee actions.

Clearly, most healthcare organizations believe that they are vulnerable to a possible data breach, yet they are still unprepared for ways to identify, address and remediate new threats, and they lack the resources to protect patient data and other confidential information.

Unfortunately, these research findings produce more questions than answers. Where do we go from here? What can healthcare organizations do to overcome these vulnerabilities and increase their overall security? How can technology play a role in safeguarding patient information?


Improve security

One answer – to all these questions – is document management technology that is designed just for healthcare. These solutions add a layer of security around existing processes and also reduce your risk of HIPAA and other compliance breaches, all while simplifying workflows and reducing costs.

For example, document management and document imaging solutions provide healthcare organizations with the administrative, physical and technical controls to protect patient health information (PHI) in both paper and electronic records. These solutions deliver with the following features and functionality:

  • Authorization tools that verify user credentials at every device.
  • Authentication functionality that limits employee access to specific devices, applications and systems.
  • File destination control to monitor (and audit) the flow of patient data and control it before it reaches its destination.
  • Secure output for print management, data capture and the conversion of any document securely – even integrated with EHR software.
  • Encryption tools to encrypt communications between smart devices (including MFPs), servers and end destinations.
  • Audit trails and reports that track all device activities – giving critical insight “who-what-when” information related to document printing,scanning and workflow management.
  • Content-based filtering to help prevent data exfiltration and the loss of patient information by filtering outbound communications and intercepting documents.

Improve peace of mind

This year, don’t become another statistic of those organizations that suffer a data breach or don’t know how to manage vulnerabilities. Take advantage of Nuance Healthcare Document Imaging Solutions to improve security, protect patient health information and deliver peace of mind across your organization and to every patient.

Interested in learning more? Visit Nuance in booth #2546 at HIMSS 2017 (February 19-23, Orlando, FL) to see how our solutions are helping leading healthcare organizations improve security and protect PHI data.

Solving security challenges in healthcare

Learn how you can improve security and better protect sensitive patient records.


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Jeff Segarra

About Jeff Segarra

Jeff Segarra is the Senior Director of Product Marketing for the Nuance Document Imaging Division. He is responsible for the global team that delivers industry product positioning, messaging and content to help our customers around the world identify how Nuance solutions can meet their needs. He enjoys speaking and writing about business process improvement, The Internet of Things, document security, document conversion technologies and personal productivity. He has an MBA from Iona College, Hagan School of Business and has been working with software technology for 20 years. Jeff is an original New Yorker and, therefore, a staunch Yankees fan – in the heart of Red Sox nation.