Is cybersecurity training for physician groups a priority? Why can’t your healthcare IT company handle cybersecurity while doctors, nurses and other medical professionals focus on their areas of expertise? While working with a healthcare IT service company, such as Reliable IT is undoubtedly a wise idea; it cannot take the place of providing cybersecurity training and education to every medical professional who works with EMR records. Following are three compelling reasons why cybersecurity training for physicians is a must.

It’s All Too Easy for Physicians to Make Cybersecurity Mistakes

Even the best healthcare IT company cannot prevent busy physicians from making grave cybersecurity mistakes. These could include:

  • Writing down an EMR password and leaving it in an unsecured location such as a desk drawer or office table
  • Forwarding medical information to a specialist or another physician using an unsecured email account or app
  • Providing log-in information in response to what appears to be a genuine email from the medical facility but which is, in fact, an email from a hacker who wants to gain access to a hospital’s medical records.

It is essential for a medical facility to work with a healthcare IT company that can keep medical records secure at all times. However, even the best healthcare IT services cannot prevent doctors from making cybersecurity mistakes that could easily compromise an entire medical facility’s patient records. Thankfully, these and other common yet deadly errors can be avoided with proper cybersecurity training for physician groups. Physicians who receive ongoing cybersecurity training will not only learn about proper IT procedures but also why these procedures are so necessary. They will be aware of cybersecurity dangers and on guard against them, thus preventing devastating cybersecurity attacks that can cause medical facilities multiple problems for months or even years.

The Results of Cybersecurity Mistakes can be Devastating

Even a single, seemingly innocent mistake by a busy doctor can have devastating repercussions. HIPAA regulations stipulate that a medical facility must notify not only patients but also local media outlets if more than 500 medical records have been breached. The negative publicity surrounding such an event will naturally result in patients leaving the hospital in search of a facility that offers better patient privacy protections. What is more, HIPAA violations can result in stiff fines and legal action from patients whose records have been compromised.

Alternatively, cybercriminals who gain access to a hospital’s medical records could hold these records hostage in exchange for a hefty ransom. Many medical facilities wind up paying millions of dollars to retrieve their valuable EMR records. What is more, even paying a ransom does not always guarantee that a medical facility will get its records back. The loss of relevant patient data can put lives in danger as physicians, nurses and other medical personnel don’t have the information they need to provide the best possible care and treatment.

Cybercrime Against Medical Facilities is on the Rise

Recent statistics show that cybercriminals are targeting the medical industry more than any other industry. Some reasons why these criminals are attacking medical facilities more often than before include:

  • Medical facilities rely on electronic data more than ever before
  • Many medical facilities don’t have the training and equipment needed to keep electronic medical records secure
  • Medical facilities desperately need patient data and are willing to do almost anything to get it back. Thus, cybercrimes against the healthcare industry have the potential to be extremely lucrative.

Unfortunately, many medical professionals are not aware of the increased cybersecurity risks. While these same professionals may receive ongoing training about their medical specialties, they have not received training in cybersecurity protocols.

Introducing Reliable IT Healthcare

Reliable IT Healthcare specializes in offering healthcare IT services to physician groups and medical facilities of all types and sizes. The company is staffed by HIPAA-compliant IT specialists who start by providing a comprehensive security assessment of a medical facility’s IT system to ensure that it is fully secure. If vulnerabilities are found, Reliable IT offers solutions for remedying problems that could result in a breach of patient records, including managed services, consulting services, cloud hosting services and 24/7 tech support.

Reliable IT also offers one-time and ongoing training opportunities for medical personnel who want to learn how to prevent common yet deadly cyber attacks. The training is tailored to meet the needs of each medical facility, ensuring that physicians and other staff members who work with electronic patient records know how to keep these records secure yet easily accessible to those who need and are authorized to view private patient information. By working with trained, experienced healthcare IT professionals, a medical facility can drastically improve the security of its valuable records and thus be able to continue providing the best possible care to its local community both now and in the future.