5 Data Problems Today’s Healthcare Facilities Face … and What To Do About Them

Your data is compromised. Now what?

It’s not something anyone likes to think about, but it’s happening more every year. This past year, 3,205 publicly reported data compromises impacted more than 353 million individuals, a rise of 78 percent over the preceding year.

How would it impact you? A breach in patient data might lead to inappropriate treatments, errors in medical records, or pose threats to patient safety. A failure to protect patient data might lead to a HIPAA violation, leading to hefty fines and legal consequences.

From there, it spirals into a free-fall. Data breaches are known to erode patient trust, which can affect your reputation and patient retention. Legal issues and operational fixes can be costly, impacting your financial health.

But you’ve heard all this before … right? The news talks about breaches daily. Dealing with them is something you’ve added to your to-do list multiple times. The hard part is knowing where to begin.

Data is a big deal. It’s everything to your healthcare organization. The most common data problems you might be facing include:

  • Data silos - Your data is fragmented across different systems and departments, making your overall business inefficient at best.
  • Data security - Protecting sensitive patient information becomes more challenging every day, especially as strict regulations like HIPAA change frequently.
  • Data accuracy - You’ve been in business for a while. You know inaccurate and outdated information is part of the system, and it’s impacting the foundation of your business.
  • Data integration - Tired of inputting data multiple times? Yet integration isn’t as easy as it seems.
  • Data accessibility - Different departments need to access data at the right time in their own unique way. Decision-making depends on it.

Do you see yourself in there? What can you do? We have several ideas for you.

Data silos

We’ve been talking about integrated electronic health records (EHR) systems for years. However, they still aren’t the solution unless you ensure all departments use the same data standards for their daily function. The problem starts when every team selects its own systems without an overall plan. Having someone on the team who looks at it from the top down can ensure you’re all working with the end goal in mind.

Data security

Security remains a problem because it’s hard to move forward without understanding where you are. When was the last time you conducted a security audit? It’s the only way to identify vulnerabilities in the system and create fixes that actually work.

Data accuracy

While audits can reveal problems within the system, you also need to look specifically at the data. Routine data cleaning procedures can remove outdated information and fix inaccuracies as you find them. Keep your staff well trained; it’s the easiest way to ensure you have better data files as you move forward.

Data integration

When everyone uses their own systems to get the work done, it’s easier to have inaccuracies in your data. Adopt unified healthcare management platforms that integrate multiple functions into one system. Not sure how to do that, or had trouble in the past putting this together? It may be time to ask for help from someone who can.

Data accessibility

User-friendly interfaces make systems intuitive and easy to navigate for all users. Ensure that only the persons who need access to a system are actually given the credentials to get in.

Complex problems. Complex solutions. We understand that implementing one solution for an easy fix is never easy. Still, there are ways to tighten your infrastructure and give it more security. It just takes one step at a time …

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