One of the biggest concerns for home healthcare agencies when implementing a software solution is the safety and security of their data. Cyber-attacks and data breaches could have serious implications on your business, so it’s important to take the appropriate precautions to protect all the data coming through your home care agency.
Cloud-based home care software as a service (SaaS) solutions provides a combination of functionality, flexibility and efficiency, while also offering high-level security to keep your most important health records safe.
These offerings can roll out critical bug and security fixes to all their servers, and hence all their customers, within hours of knowing about them. Even the best IT departments would find it almost impossible to achieve such rapidity of service.
With that being said, there are still a number of ways your home healthcare agency can take proactive steps to help continuously increase data protection in your cloud-based system:
Enforcing security policies
It’s important to have a detailed strategic security plan in place for your users when switching to a cloud-based solution. Policies and procedures such as theft reporting and breach protocols should be well thought out and communicated to all employees.
Something as simple as ensuring employees don’t allow anyone access to their devices, or requiring employees to disable features such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when they are not in use can dramatically reduce the likelihood of a breach.
Strong authentication and access controls
An easy way to ensure you’re proactively protecting health data in the cloud is to setup strong authentication controls for administrative access and standard operations.
All cloud solutions require passwords for users to access client data, but you should also consider implementing a time-out feature and a limited number of password attempts in order to maximize security.
You’ll also want to make your passwords as strong and unique as possible. Long and complex passwords might be a hassle for your employees to remember, but it’s an even bigger hassle to have a breach of health information.
Encryption and data protection
Encryption is a technique that essentially uses algorithms to transform your health data into an unreadable file, which can only be viewed in its original state if a specific key code is present. Your cloud-based solution should provide both at-rest encryption and in-transit encryption, meaning your data is protected in the cloud when it’s not in use, as well as when it travels across the web to and from your agency.
Using a software solution that automatically encrypts health data within the system will ensure your important data is protected. Click here for more information on encryption.
Keep an eye out online or in the news for security breaches in the home healthcare industry. Being aware of the vulnerabilities allows you to take the appropriate precautions in order to ensure your data is protected.
It’s also a good idea to perform regular security audits and pull reports and information on how your employees are interacting with your solution. This will give you the visibility you need to address any concerns and ensure your data is secure.
Once you have access controls and security policies in place, it’s important that your employees have a complete understanding of security threats and the protocols you’ve initiated to prevent them.
A high percentage of data breaches happen not because of lack of security, but because of your own employees. Consider initiating an employee training and awareness program for health data security, and educate your staff on the protocols and best practices for using a cloud-based home care SaaS solution such as the ones in this article.
At AlayaCare we take information security very seriously and in addition to following all the encryption and anonymization recommendations in the HIPAA law, we enforce a strict separation of clinical patient data from patient demographic data and the rest of our back office home care systems, essentially putting in place multiple layers of security and redundancy.
In conclusion, as long as your SaaS provider is reputable and devoting time and effort to keeping their systems secure and their customers’ data safe, then you should feel confident that your data is safer in the cloud with expert caretakers than in your on-premise systems.
Want to find out more about AlayaCare’s cloud storage? Contact us at (855)-858-5214 or request a demo of our SaaS solution today.