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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Two-time authentication adds an extra layer of security. This is one step past having a VPN and is an inexpensive way verify identity.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.  

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Headshot of David Slazyk

David Slazyk


David joined NextGen Healthcare as data privacy, security, and risk officer in November 2013 and he was named chief information and security officer in 2020. He leads the information systems department at NextGen Healthcare, including enterprise applications, infrastructure and operations, and data privacy, security, and risk. His team creates and delivers IT solutions and services across NextGen Healthcare's global footprint in both the United States and India.

David leads the strategic planning of business operations into enterprise applications, including composite hardware, software, and network resources and services required for the company’s enterprise IT environment. He’s also responsible for the confidentiality and integrity of all company data, plus compliance with all privacy laws.

After serving in the U.S. Navy, David worked in many IT and IT security roles throughout his civilian IT career including senior director, security officer & network architect at Mirth LLC. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from California State University, Fullerton.