Many medical practices now have staff members working from home. This change creates new privacy, HIPAA compliance, and security challenges. As organizations are functioning in the new normal, running their business as securely as possible remains a high priority. There are a few things to keep in mind to help ease the transition and embrace the changes in technology in the COVID-19 new normal.
- Make it easier on staff by providing them secure laptops. It’s a lot easier to control your medical data, policies and procedures when you own the device.
- Have an IT infrastructure to support a work-from-home lifestyle. Provide acceptable guidelines for staff to follow to ensure that their home devices like printers, mice and keyboards can be serviced by IT support if need be. It may be easier to pre-select those devices so you’re not working with ones you can’t support.
- Get your Virtual Public Network (VPN) set up. This is a mandatory component to allow an encrypted path for staff to allow access to secured domains for documents and internal portals.
- Two-time authentication adds an extra layer of security. This is one step past having a VPN and is an inexpensive way verify identity.
- Lose the split-tunneling. This feature allows your staff visibility into the private and public network simultaneously. This helps to be an extended entry point into your practice and can open the practice up to security breaches.
- Reach your desktop anytime anywhere. Rather than having staff only be able to gain access to the network from their computer, have your network available from any virtual technology with unique log-in credentials.
- Don’t get caught in the fakery. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) violations are a serious thing. Remind your staff to be vigilant about all the scams happening right now and to be vet anything that just doesn’t seem right. Providing standard training and templates will help staff be better aware of the signs to avoid.
Following these few tips should be a promising start to protecting health information in the workplace and ultimately empowering your staff to secure patient data will help minimize the chances of threats.