Data breaches are becoming more and more frequent, and they are posing serious threats to the healthcare industry. Breaches in the healthcare industry are not only devastatin to patients whose data is compromised, but also to the hospitals that lose millions in revenue as well as suffer lasting damage to their reputations. Why are these data breaches so frequent, and what is the solution?
Insecure Data in the Healthcare Industry
Many hospitals are operating with heavily outdated cyber security systems, oftentimes without a team that is dedicated solely to data security. This lack of knowledge can lead to major holes in cyber security systems which allows for hackers to have easier access to sensitive patient data. Doctors are also more worried about their patients physical privacy, and so digital privacy is often overlooked, but many people don’t realize that lacking cyber security can directly compromise patients privacy.
There have been many attempts to increase the digital security systems in the healthcare system, with cybersecurity experts creating new updates to improve systems, but doctors are hesitant to install. Physicians are more inclined to believe that cybersecurity experts over exaggerate problems with digital security which leads to the hesitation in installing new updates, but this can lead to poorer treatment in patients as their information can be at risk of being compromised.
The rise of telehealth has also contributed to the rising frequency of data breaches in healthcare. Telehealth involves any medical practices that take place remotely. Patients enter their sensitive information into their computer or phone in order to have video call doctors appointments, or even receive medications delivered to their home. This input of data can be dangerous if necessary security measures are not in place.
The Solution to Data Breaches in Hospitals
Many hospitals are making the switch to blockchain and healthcare in order to increase their security. Blockchain applications store information in fragmented systems, which can make inputting private information safer than in previous years. The information is stored in fragments that hackers do not have easy access to. Patients can also communicate with providers remotely without worrying that third parties will have access to their information. This is due to the added security of the fragmented system that blockchain applications utilize.
In hospitals, blockchain applications can be used to store patient information from devices such as wearable monitors. These monitors can track information such as blood pressure or heart rate. The information is secured in a patient file that both the provider and patient have access to. This system means more transparency within the healthcare system, as well as a more organized way of seeing patient data. This can allow doctors to provide more efficient and effective care.
The Reward of Switching to Blockchain Applications
When hospitals suffer from a data breach, they can lose upwards of $6.5 million. This monetary damage can affect hospitals for years after the breach. More money is lost as patients are less willing to trust the company and revenue goes down. With the frequency of these data breaches occurring, hospitals cannot afford to be losing so much money in lost revenue. They could continue suffering from the reputation damage that often follows a cyber attack.
The added security benefits of blockchain and healthcare as well as the easy to use system makes it clear. Blockchain and healthcare is the key to a more secure future in medicine.