Telehealth was growing rapidly prior to 2020. In 2019, the global telehealth market was valued at $45.5 billion. Now, because we’re all a little more digitally savvy and have an increasing demand for virtual meetings, that number is expected to rise to $175.5 billion by 2026.
In the middle of COVID-19, the Office of Civil Rights stated it would not penalize providers for noncompliance issues as they leveraged telehealth strategies during the pandemic. While that may have worked for a few months as we navigated our new normal, it isn’t something any medical provider should rely on for any length of time.
As a service provider, you’ve had a lot on your mind these past few months. But jumping on popular remote worker platforms isn’t as easy for the medical industry as it is for others.
Tapping into Zoom, for example, isn’t a perfect solution. While Zoom had HIPAA compliance before COVID-19, serious security issues have raised concerns about how secure the platform is. While they may recover and resume being a HIPAA compliant platform in the future, for now, think twice about how you use it.
That’s just one example of how confusing it can be to navigate this new frontier. While you might not put your business at risk now with more lax rules and regulations, that will change in the near future.
Patient privacy and a secure infrastructure is everything.
A virtual private network (VPN) is one of the most common ways to connect to an enterprise network from anywhere in the world. However, one of the most common ways they are compromised is failing to patch vulnerabilities. When those little reminders pop up that there is an update to a system, putting them off puts you at risk.
Multi-factor authentication is another great way to keep criminal behavior at bay. A study performed by Microsoft showed that 99.9 percent of criminal behavior was thwarted by having multi-factor authentication in place. Criminals look for easy ways in. If you make it even a little more complicated, they turn and look for another, more staightforward resource to tap.
Another issue is endpoint compliance. With the proper technology in place, it enables you to ensure you meet compliance issues within regulatory frameworks, giving you the ability at all endpoints to ensure your entire team achieves compliance. It gathers pertinent information, such as OS and firewall status, prior to allowing access to the network.
For medical organizations, cybersecurity often takes a backseat to patient care. Criminals know this. This is what puts organizations like yours at risk. As you move forward with integrating more telehealth services into your practice, be sure you secure your strategies long before implementation.
The easiest way to ensure you don’t become one of the statistics is to partner with someone who will move security back up to the top of your to-do list and ensure it’s completed on an on-going basis. Giving you the freedom to do what you do best.
For IT Strategy, Cloud Conversion, or Help Desk Services reach out to us at Silver Linings Technology 360-450-4759.