The healthcare sector is faced with numerous challenges, most of which have made it difficult to effectively deliver healthcare services. The challenges include patient’s expectations for safe and improved healthcare services, shortage of healthcare professionals, HIPAA rule compliance and implementation of appropriate IT solutions to improve healthcare delivery. A survey carried out by the Ponemon Institute has revealed that many healthcare organizations are having problems implementing HIPAA rules and upgrading outdated means and communication. These challenges have greatly affected the quality of service delivery in health institutions. The report indicated that HIPPA compliance modalities reduced the time healthcare professionals took to care for patients and restricted the use of electronic communication; in addition to making it difficult to access patient information electronically.
HIPPA was signed into law in 1996 to protect the health insurance cover for workers who lose or change their jobs. HIPAA also enforces strict privacy standards for accessing vital patient information with respect to electronic healthcare transactions. Besides the challenges brought about by HIPAA implementation, the deficiency many organizations are encountering when using communication tools has led to a decrease in the level of productivity among health workers. For example, by reducing the amount of time, a doctor spends on a patient compared to the time spend on the machine. On the other hand, the process of deploying modern forms of communication such as text messaging and use of smartphone has been impeded by the existence of overly restrictive security policies. Although the idea of shifting from paper to Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) was designed to enhance patient care by increasing the rates of efficiency, the process is often marred by emerging privacy risks.
Characteristics of an Efficient Healthcare Security System
Healthcare records are a highly precious commodity; for this reason, health care organizations must invest in the right technologies and training to diminish the ever increasing threat of data breaches. To ensure seamless information technology implementation and uptake, IT department’s musts come up with proper working solutions that meet security and privacy compliance in order to protect patient information. Successful implementation of various infrastructural, networking and service delivery in healthcare organizations requires the realization of the following service and IT outcomes:
• Improvement in patient safety
• Increasing emphasis on prevention
• Ensuring efficient service coordination between the various healthcare institutions
• Minimizing instances of accidents and medical errors
• Setting up trusted information privacy and security provisions
• Keeping personal medical information safe by preventing unlawful access