Maintaining robust document security is especially crucial in the healthcare industry. Protecting patient information, medical records, and other confidential data requires secure document management protocols. From going paperless to training staff, here are nine tips on how to improve document security in healthcare.
Protecting Sensitive Data: Nine Document Management Tips for Healthcare Organizations
1: Switch to Digital Faxing
Traditional faxing methods lack encryption, leaving healthcare documents vulnerable. Transitioning to digital faxing with end-to-end encryption will ensure that all sensitive information is protected during transmission. Digital faxing also allows you to securely archive and retrieve medical documents, streamlining your document management process.
2: Boost Your Printer and Copier Security
From physical theft to data breaches, it’s easy for sensitive information to end up in the wrong hands if office equipment is left unprotected. Add an extra layer of security to your printers and copiers by requiring user authentication before any documents can be released. It’s also important to invest in equipment that uses encryption and to update the firmware regularly. You can also configure your devices to automatically purge sensitive data after use, minimizing the risk of unauthorized access to printed or copied documents.
3: Improve Mobile Device Security
More and more healthcare workers are using mobile devices to perform their work, so a strong mobile device policy is paramount. Encrypting the smartphones and tablets your staff use will safeguard your patients’ data if the device is ever lost or stolen. Establish strong password policies, implement biometric authentication where possible, and enable remote wipe capabilities to improve mobile device security.
4: Protect Your Wireless Network
Wireless networks are susceptible to unauthorized access if they are not properly secured, which puts every single device on the network at risk. Healthcare organizations should employ strong encryption protocols and regularly update their Wi-Fi passwords. It’s also a good idea to segment the network to isolate sensitive healthcare data from other network traffic. Make sure to monitor network activity and implement intrusion detection systems for extra security.
5: Go Paperless with a Document Management System
Physical documents are more difficult to organize and harder to protect than digital files. A document management system (DMS) offers a centralized and secure platform for storing, organizing, and retrieving your healthcare documents. Look for a DMS with robust security features that include data encryption, audit trails that track document access, and role-based access controls.
6: Strengthen Your Physical Security Protocols
While digitizing documents can help improve security, going entirely paperless isn’t practical in healthcare. Protect your physical documents by locking storage rooms and filing cabinets, and employing surveillance systems to monitor access points. You should also audit your physical document storage regularly to ensure that only authorized personnel have access.
7: Train Your Staff
Human error is a common cause of security breaches. To prevent these types of mistakes, conduct regular training sessions to teach your healthcare staff about the latest security threats, how to identify potential attacks, and what to do if there’s a breach or an attempted breach. It’s also crucial to educate your staff on the correct procedures for document handling, your document security policies, and the importance of confidentiality.
8: Keep Software Up to Date
Software updates often include patches for known vulnerabilities. They often address potential points of exploitation and enhance the overall system security. Keep your document management system, printers, copiers, antivirus software, and all other applications up to date to ensure your devices stay protected.
9: Be Careful How You Dispose of Obsolete Data
Proper data disposal is a vital component of document security. For physical documents, implement secure HIPAA-compliant shredding practices. For digital documents, use secure deletion tools that overwrite data to prevent recovery. Establish clear procedures for disposing of obsolete documents, and ensure that staff is well-informed about them.
Secure Your Healthcare Documents with DocuWare
Incorporating these strategies into your healthcare document management practices will help you build a robust and resilient security policy. If you’re interested in safeguarding your patient information with a digital document management system, contact WiZiX Technology Group.
We’re dedicated to providing our clients with secure document management solutions, which is why we’re a proud DocuWare reseller. Docuware is highly secure, scalable, and easy to implement. Give us a call at 888-977-4220 to schedule a demo for your Fresno area business.