Pertinent Healthcare Issue
The pertinent healthcare issue is data security of healthcare records which is at risk a data breach. Statistics indicate an increase in hacking attempts against Electronic Health Records. The records contain addresses of patients and their guardians including contacts, bank accounts, social security numbers, emails and other personal details (Iyengar, Kundu & Pallis, 2018). Patients are at risk if hackers gain access to such data since they can use it to access bank accounts. They can also be used to carry out fraud that will jeopardize the lives of patients. Hospitals are thus required to strongly guard Electronic Health Records against any hacking attempt (Archenaa & Anita, 2015). The healthcare organizations must improve on the investments they have made in software technology such as firewalls. The pertinent healthcare issue is a major concern that can affect a healthcare organization and consequently undermining patient outcomes.
The healthcare facility has recorded two hacking attempts. The attempts have been published in media outlets to report the cases and assure patients and the public of the safety of their data. The two hacking attempts have caused tension among patients due to the fear of the worst-case scenario (Archenaa & Anita, 2015). A number of patients have moved to other healthcare organizations due to the fear that their data could be compromised. The hospital has received 10 requests from patients who want to relocate to other facilities. The publicity of the movement of patients has earned the organization negative publicity. The profitability has been negatively affected by 3 percent over the last two years. The losses may increase if the tension is not well handled (McLeod & Dolezel, 2018). The organization has also invested an extra $1000 to upgrade the security of the Electronic Health Records systems.
Abouelmehdi, Beni-Hessane, and Khaloufi (2018) presented an article that argues the importance of health records in predicting outbreaks, gain insights, improve patient care, and reduce cost of treatment. However, they argue that medical data can only be useful to a healthcare organization if it is secured. The article presents the security and privacy challenges associated with healthcare data. The article examines two methods used to enhance data security including encryption and anonymization. On the other hand, McLeod and Dolezel (2018) carried out a study to examine healthcare data breaches. The study shows that the rate of healthcare data breach continues to rise. It shows the relationship between organizational characteristics and the likelihood of healthcare data breaches. It also states that personal health records are at great risk of hacking.
The data security issue is being handled in different ways in various healthcare organizations. One of the common strategies is to limit access to the systems by using a two-step verification process (Abouelmehdi, Beni-Hessane & Khaloufi, 2018). It involves providing a password and a secret code to access a site. Additionally, the servers are kept away the reach of healthcare providers and only a few technical personnel are allowed to access them. Another common strategy is to use blockchain technology to ensure the data shared across practitioners cannot be deleted or altered. It thus provides safe sharing of information among nurses, surgeons, pharmacists, and informaticists. Installing strong firewalls is another crucial strategy used by other healthcare organization (McLeod & Dolezel, 2018). The focus is to ensure that all the hacking attempts are blocked thus limiting the access to the site containing sensitive information. The firewall is upgraded regularly to ensure the systems are always secure.
Abouelmehdi, Beni-Hessane, and Khaloufi (2018) proposed encryption and anonymization as the ultimate solutions to data security issues. Anonymization is the process of removing personally identifiable information from data sets. Encryption is the process of converting data into a code to prevent unauthorized access. The methods are meant to enhance the security of healthcare data. The protection will enhance disease outbreak prediction, gaining insights and protecting patients from fraud cases. A study by McLeod and Dolezel (2018) also recommended that assessment of vulnerability level is essential in preventing hackers from accessing a site. It also helps the management to take appropriate measures to improve their weaknesses. Security modeling was also proposed as an effective strategy for enhancing data security. The two scholarly articles have presented accurate and practical measures that can be used to enhance the security of healthcare information.
The proposed strategies will impact the healthcare organization positively. The facility will learn better approaches to enhancing data security. It will ensure that patients’ data is protected using strategies such as encryption (McLeod & Dolezel, 2018). For example, the facility will learn enhanced encryption strategies that will boost data security. It will apply symmetric encryption methods including blowfish and twofish. The security mechanisms will also enhance the reputation of the health facility. It will thus secure data to enhance better insights and future planning based on the acquired data over the years (Abouelmehdi, Beni-Hessane & Khaloufi, 2018). The hospital has previously invested in data security but it will not be required to discard the old methods and adopt the new strategies.
Abouelmehdi, K., Beni-Hessane, A., & Khaloufi, H. (2018). Big healthcare data: preserving security and privacy. Journal of Big Data, 5(1), 1.
Archenaa, J., & Anita, E. M. (2015). A survey of big data analytics in healthcare and government. Procedia Computer Science, 50, 408-413.
Iyengar, A., Kundu, A., & Pallis, G. (2018). Healthcare informatics and privacy. IEEE Internet Computing, 22(2), 29-31.
McLeod, A., & Dolezel, D. (2018). Cyber-analytics: Modeling factors associated with healthcare data breaches. Decision Support Systems, 108, 57-68.