Hospitals, Tax Time & Data Security
With tax season upon us, it’s more important than ever to consider data security. Identity theft is common during tax season, with so much pertinent information being shared across the internet and face to face. And as more patient records go digital, data security is going to become increasingly more important. Because so much information, from patients’ credit card info and social security numbers to very personal data regarding their health, hospitals are a prime target for identity thieves.
How can you ensure that your hospital is doing everything it can this tax season to keep data safe? Consider some of the following suggestions.
Registered Personnel and Passwords
A lot of stolen data isn’t plucked from the internet, but stolen by employees. This is not to say that you shouldn’t trust the people you’ve hired. Rather, make sure that security measures inside your hospital and your accounts receivable department are at a high level. Provide unique passwords for every individual user who will be accessing patient information. Require that, before they leave the computer, they sign out.
Any paperwork or files should also be kept under lock and only viewed by personnel with a specific reason.
It may also be important to prevent employees from accessing important documents on personal devices, like laptops or tablet computers.
A significant number of data thefts occur from mobile devices, like laptops or removable hard drives. This is avoidable by utilizing cloud storage. Cloud storage not only provides a backup for your data, but depending on the cloud provider may also offer encryption services and a higher level of security at a lower cost than is normally available to unique hospitals.
By utilizing offsite data storage, you’re lessening the risk of data theft by loss of hardware. In addition, you’re able to utilize constant security upgrades, as cloud service providers are frequently boosting the security of their servers as more effective means come available.
Partner & Vendor Security
If you’re taking security in house seriously, any of your partners and vendors should be held to the same level. Regardless of the service they provide to you, if they receive any kind of information that could be stolen and used for identity theft, it’s important that their security protocols are in line with yours.
Accountants, accounts receivable partners, or even other medical service providers: if you’re sharing data, then they should be treated as an extension of your hospital and adhere to your protocols.
How do the security protocols of your revenue cycle management partners line up with yours? If you’d like to learn more about how HCM can keep data safe while efficiently closing your revenue cycle, contact us today.