Importance of Data Security in Health Care IT

The application of technologies such as big data analytics, cognitive computing, mobile collaboration and information exchange is largely facilitated by …

By Mr. Prudhvi Madadi

Mr. Prudhvi Madadi

During these uncertain times with the pandemic, we came to know how important health care is to the society. While our health care professionals are fighting against COVID-19, there are many security threats we are seeing to the health care data.

Data privacy is one of the major concerns for organizations, when it comes to the utilization of cloud computing services. Data privacy is primarily violated by breach of data, which can be explained as the purposeful or accidental leak of secure or private data to an untrusted environment. In the health care sector, data breach takes place when electronic health records, protected health information, business strategies, research data and financial data are leaked. Beyond monetary losses, health care data breaches can harm an organization’s reputation and lead to litigation. With the expanding adoption of cloud and web services by therapeutic experts, analysts and administrators, the health care organization has to adapt various measures to control and eliminate data breach.

In a health care setup, connected medical devices not only include smartphones but also the tablets clinicians’ access to EHRs and administrative tools. As the quantity of connected therapeutic tools continues increasing, the reliability of the network will dependably be the shared factor that supports activities related to digital communication practices. In case of health care associations proceeding to increase associated medicinal tools and other IT devices to their computerized settings, network reliability is fundamental so as to enable suppliers to communicate with data more rapidly. Building a reliable network is quite essential in order to match with the consistent and critical connections. Without proper considerations organizations often risk unreliable systems that have noteworthy negative downstream effects. In the case of Marin General Hospital in 2018, system administrators found that an assessment of the network and site survey highlighted issues that were not quite evident. The majority of the remote site reviews included radio frequency. It was extremely troublesome to get percent coverage; however, a strong site overview, appropriate channel setup and strong design were pivotal. The administrators at Marin investigated the creation of key tie-ups with their wireless vendors and ensured the involvement of the vendors engineering team that had a huge impact on the success and reliability of the network.

There has been a widespread adoption of cloud service solutions by health care set-ups over the years. However, service compliance and service level agreements have been under careful consideration. In the health care sector, the movement toward the creation of shared services has been quite affirmative. In the context of the same a healthcare parent organization primarily comprises of two entities: i) a provider of conventional health care services and ii) a cloud services provider catering to the needs of multiple health care organizations. The CSCC guidelines in terms of the “Practical Guide to Cloud Service Agreements” and “Public Cloud Service Agreements” have provided the participating organizations a set of guidelines for service level operations.

There are numerous rigorous requirements of cloud computing for the health care sector taking into consideration the aspects of security, confidentiality, availability, traceability, reversibility and long-term preservation of data. While adhering to industry and government regulations, the providers of cloud facilities need to account for all the above-mentioned aspects. Apart from the above-mentioned aspects, the aspect of health care ethics also needs to be taken into account. A number of health care centers conduct clinical research which involves the analysis of huge amount of patient and health care data. Data breach occurring for such sensitive information is a clear violation of medical ethics.

This can lead to a hampered brand image and drastic decrease in patient numbers. The stakeholders in the health care system need to carefully consider the ethics in health care when deciding to make a move towards cloud computing which encompass applications both clinical and nonclinical in nature. The clinical applications encompass EHRs, physician order entry and software for pharmacy and imagery needs. Application nonclinical in nature include the aspects of, revenue cycle management, automatic patient billing, cost accounting, payroll administration and management of claims

With the technology advancements hospitals and insurance companies are moving more toward using robotic processing, artificial intelligence and cloud computing. Health care providers might face a lot of struggle in their attempt to reproduce the same as in-house applications. The application of technologies such as big data analytics, cognitive computing, mobile collaboration and information exchange is largely facilitated by cloud computing. This in turn is crucial in order to accelerate the delivery of advanced health care solutions. Hybrid cloud arrangements will be prevalent in order to support the requirements of the ever-expanding health care market. This model provides the health care industry the flexibility to deploy workloads and data based on the analysis of business-related risk or reward. The key factors determining the decisions of hybrid cloud deployment will be the security and privacy requirements and regulation compliance. It is equally important to take care of the security protocols, firewalls, virus detections and staying up to date with the malware and antivirus software.

Mr. Prudhvi Madadi is a healthcare IT professional and been in the field for more than 10 years, researched and been part of many major implementation projects and have written his findings in these articles.

1. Data Security Threats in Healthcare It Using Cloud – Vol. 7, Issue 5, May 2019

2. Effects of Artificial Intelligence in Information Technology Industry – Vol. 7, Issue 11, November 2018 –