Get in touch

Workarounds: The Newest IT Security Risk

Workarounds: The Newest IT Security Risk

What do healthcare facilities worry about right now in 2018? According to a report put out by the ECRI Institute, one of the most significant concerns involves workarounds.

Workarounds occur when a staff member needs to get something done and doesn’t have the right tools or authority in place. So they bend the rules a little. They ignore a warning. They create a temporary fix. They override a systems flaw to get what needs to be done completed.

Have you ever logged into a system for a new staff member who has yet to receive their credentials?

Have you ever logged in for a junior member of the staff and walked away?

Yep, that’s a workaround. And it’s putting you at risk.

The only way to reduce the amount of risk it’s opening your business up to is to fix the problems before they begin. There are three ways to do this:

  1. Develop a culture where staff can discuss concerns and procedures about technology freely.

Are management and medical staff on two different playing fields? Do they speak separately or work together?

To avoid conflict, it’s important that even the newest, most junior member of your staff feels safe enough to call attention when workarounds are put into place. Instead of giving the process a pass, have them call them out the moment they occur. Then once situations are brought to light, do what’s necessary to get rid of the problem once and for all.

  1. Let all staff members voice their wishes and desires before finalizing technology purchases.

Management often makes final decisions on what programs and technology to use without consulting every member of the staff. This can allow gaping holes in the way the office uses technology to operate the very core of your practice.

Do you know how every member of your staff operates in their job? Do you know what tools are required to get things done? The only way to find out is to let every person have a voice in the process before the final decision is made and a system is selected for implementation.

  1. Create ongoing maintenance and training plans that allow everyone to stay on top of the latest developments.

Some workarounds begin because of a flaw within the system. Upgrades or patches might solve the problem. Or maybe it’s merely a bad habit; a little training would give an employee the a-ha they need to access the system correctly.

Ensure an ongoing maintenance plan is in place to keep every system as reliable as possible. And provide ongoing training to ensure your staff is using the system to its full capabilities, safely and securely.

Ultimately, patient safety comes down to how well we use the technology we have, and how to optimize it while reducing the risks. If you can eliminate workarounds or keep them to a minimum, you’ll have a happier, more efficient staff while reducing your risks at the same time.

For IT Strategy, Cloud Conversion, or Help Desk Services reach out to us at Silver Linings Technology 360-450-4759.