Technology Tips For Healthcare Practices

4 years ago | by Chris O'Brien

The Healthcare Industry has plenty of things to think about without needing to have constant hassles from their technology. Here’s the foundation technology all healthcare businesses should consider to ensure their tech environment supports their day-to-day operations.

Cyber Security Protection.

Healthcare practices carry extremely sensitive data and are therefore more vulnerable targets to cybercrime. They’re also heavily impacted by the likes of downtime and the blow of potentially losing data – including business closure and patients being subject to their private & confidential data being stolen by cyber criminals.

We always recommend that these businesses in particular explore and employ protection against each layer within their technology environment. Here’s how our recommendations safeguard the vulnerable points:

These solutions are about more than just giving healthcare practices peace-of-mind, it helps in keeping them compliant with the latest notifiable data breach legislation implemented in February 2018. This legislation specifically states that all businesses who handle health data, will be required to notify the office of the Australian Information Commissioner, and any impacted clients, when a significant data breach occurs. With protection on each layer of your technology environment, businesses are less likely to be impacted by a data breach, and can therefore rest easy knowing there is superior preventative measures in place to help remain safe from an attack. You can read more about the steps your company can take to remain compliant to this legislation here. Practice managers should also make themselves familiar with security guidelines in order to meet the criteria to become an accredited practice. Here are two relevant downloads (one & two from the RACGP) for you to check out to help bring you up to speed.

Solid Backups and Business Continuity.

Data sensitivity is a key concern for healthcare practices, which of course makes sense given they’re dealing with confidential documents every day. Even with the most advanced security measures in place, all businesses are still vulnerable to either a cyber-attack slipping through the cracks, a freak natural disaster, or even human-error. How would a healthcare business recover if all of their data was completely lost or stolen? It would take years to recover, and there have even been cases like this where businesses simply can’t recover and are forced to close.

Solid backups are part one of these recommendations. All businesses should have automated, incremental backups in order to maintain up-to-date, reliable backups, so you know that your business livelihood is stored and readily available should anything detrimental occur. Safe and reliable backups are also important in ensuring healthcare practices are compliant with recently enforced notifiable data breach legislation. In knowing exactly where your data is stored, as well as knowing it’s in a secure storage space, you’re less likely to be infiltrated, and therefore less prone to the the time, penalties and actions this legislation brings with it.

Business continuity goes a step further than just backups. Backups allow your business to recover all files being stored, but sometimes, restoring those backups can take hours – possibly days – meaning your business suffers from down-time; unable to access your systems and data to work as per normal. For healthcare practices, this can prove problematic. In the event of a disaster, business continuity allows your technology environment to be spun up locally or in the cloud, giving you access to your systems almost instantaneously. Your patients and staff won’t suffer by having to wait to be able to access your data – and nothing will be missed. Down-time associated with cyber-attacks, natural disasters, or human error is often the most impactful loss to businesses. Money having to be paid to staff, suffering patients who aren’t able to be tended to, the list goes on. Business continuity gets you back up and running fast. A valuable and recommended tool for all healthcare practices.

Download our latest case study on Data Safety in the Healthcare Industry to learn more about keeping your data secure.

Reliable Internet access.

Your connection dropping out while you’re trying to access patient records, do some research, or connect with your colleagues is a huge disruption. For healthcare businesses in particular, we always recommend a Business Grade Internet solution to give them a reliable and secure connection. This has a multitude of benefits for businesses who require stable, fast connections for their business operations.

Most importantly, Business Grade Internet gives the option of a Secure Private Network. This is completely private interconnectivity, meaning businesses have their very own private and extremely secure connection that provides guaranteed internet services, due to the ability to include a redundant fail-over services in the instance that the primary link is down. Business Grade Internet offers maximum speed and superior uptime. Whether healthcare businesses are single-site or multi-site, Business Grade Internet connections are a solid connectivity option for those who can’t afford instability.

Business Grade Hardware & Telephony Solutions:

While we’ve written a full article detailing the key differences between business and consumer grade hardware, there are a couple of things that we think are particularly insightful when it comes to users in the healthcare profession. Firstly, consumer (or home) grade hardware was never designed to meet the performance demands a business requires. Home computing generally has much lighter and less critical use than business computing, and that shows in the specs built into business grade hardware. Businesses leverage devices with more memory, space and a more powerful processor so they can handle business-critical tasks like running practice management software, medical equipment and networking with other computers. As healthcare professionals require their machines to be powerful and capable of more demanding tasks, business grade hardware make perfect sense here. Security is something that’s far superior in business grade hardware as well, in fact, it’s often the core of business hardware, with some being build with encryption by default and more secure log in options, such as TFA. Given that security is a must when it comes to healthcare, these devices are essential.

Another key differentiator for devices in the healthcare industry is warranty. Healthcare professionals don’t have time to be waiting on public support call lines, or weeks for their devices to be sent away and fixed. Business grade hardware has a minimum of 3 years warranty, with fast and local support, as well as next business day onsite service. This should be at the forefront of any healthcare business owners mind when purchasing devices for their office(s).

Telephony solutions are prominent here too. With business grade telephone solutions, healthcare professionals have a seamless communication experience, both internally and externally. With physical and virtual systems that easily integrate with computers and mobile devices for additional efficiency, these systems are security and reliably, allowing healthcare technology to keep up with everyday business demands.

If you’re a healthcare professional or business owner interested in any of the topics and solutions we’ve covered above and wish to get some advice or chat further about them, contact our team on 1300 661 859 or through the form below.

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