Healthcare Providers: Optimize Patient Experience & Maximize Cybersecurity
In working with our fleet of hundreds of healthcare businesses in the US, two facts are readily apparent: First, the modern healthcare environment is increasingly digital. Second, healthcare patients are voting with their wallets – and their feet – to visit healthcare providers that provide a convenient, accessible experience. The recent success of One Medical, which was recently acquired by Amazon, shows that patients seek a streamlined and efficient experience when interacting with healthcare providers.
At the same time, healthcare providers are tasked with ensuring that patient data is kept safe from cyber threats – despite the increasing number of interoperable digital health systems. So ultimately healthcare providers must focus on two core objectives: Streamlining the patient experience and maximizing cybersecurity throughout the entire process.
Streamlining the patient experience while maximizing cybersecurity may seem like a daunting task, but with the right strategies in place, it can be achieved. In this blog post, we’ll share some of the most effective tactics we’ve seen our fleet of hundreds of healthcare clients deploy to provide an outstanding customer experience without compromising their networks and cybersecurity.
Leverage a Patient Portal
A patient portal is a secure online platform that allows patients to access their health information, schedule appointments, and communicate with their healthcare providers. With a patient portal, healthcare providers can streamline the patient experience while maximizing cybersecurity. Patients can access their health information from anywhere, and healthcare providers can take necessary authorization precautions to ensure sensitive patient data is only available to patients and their healthcare providers.
Implement Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication is a security feature that requires users to provide more than one form of identification to access an account – and it’s becoming a table stakes feature for virtually every company with a digital footprint. Due to its widespread use, the average consumer is now familiar with this security tool. By implementing multi-factor authentication, healthcare providers can maximize cybersecurity without overcomplicating the log-in process. Patients can log in to their account quickly and easily, while healthcare providers can ensure that only authorized individuals have access to sensitive patient data.
Meet Patients Where They Are With Telemedicine
Telemedicine allows patients to connect with healthcare providers remotely, eliminating the need for in-person visits. We’re all well-aware of how prominent telemedicine became when the pandemic hit. Since then, telemedicine has been a game-changer in treatment and care, as patients and providers realized that many health concerns can be effectively addressed remotely. Patients can receive care from the comfort of their own homes, and healthcare providers can ensure that all patient data is encrypted and secure.
Automate Appointment Reminders
Automating appointment reminders is a simple yet effective way to streamline the patient experience while also maximizing cybersecurity. By sending automated reminders via email or text message, healthcare providers can reduce the likelihood of missed appointments without requiring patients to log into an online system to check their appointment status, thus removing one more potential vulnerability for network exploitation.
Implement Document Management Systems
Document management systems allow healthcare providers to store, manage, and share patient data securely. In addition, once the documents are uploaded into either an on-prem or cloud storage solution, both the patient and provider can make this data accessible to those who need it. This is a critical expectation of Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) and the CURES Act, both of which prioritize the patient’s ability to access their own data. As a result of these systems, patients can easily access their health information, and healthcare providers can ensure that all patient data is encrypted and secure.
Provide Patient Education On Best Cybersecurity Practices
We’ve seen time and time again that even the strongest defenses and cybersecurity protocols are not able to do their job if patients fall victim to phishing or social engineering exploits. It is essential for healthcare providers to create a culture that values compliance and top-tier IT hygiene. And providers can relay this culture to their patients through education on best practices for cybersecurity. Providing patients with this education is important for ensuring that patients have an ideal experience that doesn’t jeopardize their cybersecurity. By doing so, healthcare providers can encourage patients to take an active role in protecting their data.
Growing a modern healthcare provider practice requires outstanding patient experience while mitigating the risk of malicious cyber-attacks that are increasing every year. Ensuring cybersecurity is crucial because cyber threats are only expected to become more common as the use of digital technology increases in the healthcare industry. Through a consistent and conscious application of the following strategies: using a patient portal, implementing multi-factor authentication, using telemedicine, automating appointment reminders, implementing document management systems, and providing patient education, healthcare providers can provide patients with a convenient and efficient experience while protecting the highly sensitive PHI that patients entrust their healthcare providers with.