Inany information system, security is always at the top of the mind. Ahealthcare system handles sensitive data for both institutions andits patients. Ideally, In Hoyt and In Yoshihashi (2014) mention thatthe constant news coverage on security breaches says it all inregards to the need for a well-secured system. Data security, if wellimplemented improves both the quality and safety of the system. Thelevel and magnitude of integration of a healthcare system isenormous. Some of the stakeholders bound to be affected should ahealthcare system succumb to a data breach are payers, consumers, andproviders.
Likeany other information technology, HIT can address the data securitychallenge in numerous ways. Ideally, long are the days wheninformation security was bond to software requirements. Whenimplementing security measures on such a large-scale system withnumerous users, it has to be implemented at a software level andinfrastructure level. Most importantly, Menachemi & Singh (2012)affirm that the two levels of implementations have to complement oneanother.
Datasecurity on healthcare systems should tackle any privacy relatedissues that might pop up during its implementation. The providershave the mandate to implement all the data security needed in ahealthcare system. The HIT should ensure that it incorporates medicalapplication security. Menachemi & Singh (2012) explain that allsoftware applications should be secure and preserve their integrityat all costs. Secondly, HIT should implement a digital identitysolution. Any access to the system by the end users such asemployees, patients, partners, suppliers and customers ought to beidentified and their credentials authenticated prior to being grantedaccess to a healthcare system.
Thirdly,all the healthcare information exchange between different entitiesshould be secured and encrypted at all times. Moreover, Menachemi &Singh (2012) insist that all data protection policy should apply whenexchanging private and sensitive data among healthcare entities.Another aspect of security that an ideal HIT should encompass is amedical transaction security. The sole purpose of this functionalityis to secure patient information and records, transactions amonghealthcare providers and suppliers as well as claim activities.
Inaddition, all the digital documentation process has to be securedsince the information, irrespective of its format is sensitive.Finally yet importantly, all remote access and network communicationswithin a healthcare system should be secure. By implementing thesolutions as mentioned earlier, any healthcare system should adopt awell-structured IT policy that governs the handling of information bythe respective stakeholders.
AsIn Hoyt and In Yoshihashi (2014) explain, information security is acollaborative effort. Ideally the providers have to play their rolein ensuring that the HIT implements security on both software andhardware level. However, a well-structured security policy and properuser training are mandatory. It is paramount that all healthcaresystem users that interact with it on a software level be welltrained and professionals. Any HIT can implement the most optimalfeatures that promote data security.
Nonetheless,none of these features will be ideal if the end users do not adhereto how they should be implemented. All healthcare service providersshould understand that systems security is dependent of qualitysystem designs, well implemented IT policy, and well-trained endusers. However, even when all these are adhered to, they shouldalways anticipate security breaches and have plans in play to curbany arising incident.
InHoyt, R. E., & In Yoshihashi, A. (2014). Healthinformatics: Practical guide for healthcare and informationtechnology professionals.Raleigh: Lulu.com.
Menachemi,N., & Singh, S. K. (2012). Managementissues in the international context of health information technology(HIT).Bingley: Emerald.