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The Balancing Act: Mobile Access and Secure Patient Data in Healthcare


The Growing Need for Mobile Access:

The demand for mobile access stems from the need for increased efficiency and responsiveness in a fast-paced environment. Mobile devices have become an indispensable tool for doctors and staff, allowing them to access sensitive patient data protected under HIPAA, even while on the go. This eliminates the need to stop and look up information on a computer, saving valuable time. Mobile technology goes beyond doctors; affiliates also utilize these devices to communicate, send, and even store confidential data.

Furthermore, the ability of mobile apps to read barcodes on medications, wristbands, and medical charts further strengthens the appeal of mobile devices as a universal data tool. This not only reduces transcription errors but also improves access to information and communication among healthcare professionals. However, these conveniences come at a cost, jeopardizing the very data they strive to protect. 

The Challenge of Cyber Threats:

Healthcare IT departments face a significant challenge as many physicians often use personal phones at work. Even if these phones are equipped with intrusive security measures, they are generally not as secure as work-issued devices. While IT departments can fortify on-site systems and devices, they have limited control over personal mobile devices that constantly move in and out of their purview. This gap in security is well-known to cybercriminals who have shifted their focus accordingly. The healthcare industry has suffered millions of dollars in damages and countless stolen or exposed patient records due to cyberattacks in recent years.

While restricting personal phone use is a valid concern for IT departments, issuing work phones to every employee, including full-time, part-time, and affiliates, is simply not feasible. Therefore, the solution lies not in hardware, but in software applications. 

The Solution: Virtual Mobile Infrastructure (VMI):

The answer lies in controlling access to information through a central application accessible by all authorized users. VMI grants healthcare professionals secure access to patient information from any device with internet access. However, it ensures that this data doesn't reside on vulnerable personal phones, nor does it remain open in unattended applications. VMI operates on secure data center servers, essentially creating a window to the data without storing or retaining any of the viewed information.

This approach ensures that healthcare professionals have the necessary access to data while simultaneously alleviating the concerns of IT departments regarding data security. Even in the event of a lost or stolen phone, the accessed data remains secure. VMI offers a HIPAA-compliant solution that doesn't compromise the efficiency of medical staff, striking a critical balance in the ever-evolving landscape of mobile access and patient data security.


Read more about HipLink’s Secure, HIPAA Compliant App HERE.



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