A medical office places should be a place where patients can seek reliable treatment and trusted guidance from health care professionals. However, these situations can turn sour when patients’ personal information is compromised, breaking the trust between a patient and a doctor. While a thorough investigation of your office’s specific practices is necessary, you can start by checking for certain matters of security.
Employees will need to use passwords to access at least some of the practice’s data and information. However, your employees might be choosing weak passwords or writing these passwords down in spaces visible to the public. What you should consider doing is creating passwords for employees. Instead of having employees create their own, select codes that are difficult to crack. Also, give the staff members a refresher of the proper ways to keep passwords confidential. Remember to change passwords on a regular basis, so that no password gets too overused.
If your office has been in the business for a while, you might still use some tools and systems from the practice’s earlier days in the industry. Now is the time to upgrade to more advanced systems such as an HCP spend management data service. Updated tools are likely to have better security features. As time goes on, new security concerns are discovered, so the latest tools can already have built-in features to fight against these troubles.
After a particularly troubling appointment, or simply when employees feel like chatting with one another, your staff members may accidentally spill private information about patients in their conversations. Staff members who should not have access to this information might hear the details, or patients may get pieces of the conversation. This issue is certainly serious and may make patients question if their own personal information has been exposed. Emphasize the importance to your staff of minimizing gossip and keeping personal information private.
Improper Communication Methods
You also must train your staff members on when and how it is appropriate to discuss confidential information with patients. For example, sending personal information through an email can make the information vulnerable to leaking out. Educating both staff members and patients on how they can transmit this type of information is likely to make for smoother and more efficient communication overall.
Security is extremely important in the medical field because you want to make sure that patients’ personal information is treated with the utmost respect and protection. As you’re working to better the security of information around the office, take note of situations where such details are compromised. Pay attention specifically to what happened and why. Then, when you explain these new practices to employees, you can cite information that is geared toward your practice.