Undoubtedly, with technological advancements, the healthcare industry is increasing rapidly all across the globe. However, it’s also true that these advancements have brought numerous threats to the industry. Two of the major among them are identity theft and data breaches. Such risks not only put a patient’s medical record into the wrong hand, but failure to accurately identify patients might result in a diagnosis and medication errors. That could be life-threatening.
Let’s find out how online identity verification can help healthcare providers to impart better healthcare.
History of Healthcare Industry
The history of healthcare is as old as human history. However, in different periods, the methods of treating illnesses have been different. In ancient times, the home remedy was a popular way to cure various diseases that employ certain spices and vegetables. However, actual medicinal professionalization started in the 18th century.
Till then, physicians were not able to diagnose and treat various common ailments. Thanks to various scientific, chemical, biological, and technological advancements that provided doctors with the means to treat different illnesses in the early 19th century.
Today, the healthcare industry has reached an entirely new level, and technology plays a vital role in its growth. From ancient pharmacology and medical practices to modern-day advanced treatment, the industry has seen significant shifts and has come a long way.
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How Big Data Could Transform The Health Care Industry?
Nowadays, healthcare centers work with numerous tech gadgets and machines that help in various health care and life-saving procedures. Technologies like artificial intelligence are transforming the entire concept of patient care.
Some significant technological advancements in the healthcare industry, the electronic health record, telemedicine, portal technology, self-service kiosks, and remote monitoring tools.
While the healthcare industry has reached a high level, it doesn’t mean it’s free from problems. Technological advancement has brought various challenges to the industry as well.
This post will discuss the role of identity verification in the healthcare industry to resolve different challenges. So, let’s get started.
Problems in Healthcare Industry
Cybersecurity is a primary concern for most healthcare providers. Today, all medical gadgets are connected to keep the records of patient information, but unfortunately, it can attract hackers.
According to the Protenus Breach Barometer, hackers breached 15 million patient records in 2018. It’s nearly triple the number of reported incidents in 2017. In 2020, a ransomware attack on the Florida Orthopedic Institute breached 640,000 patients’ data, as reported by HHS on July 1, 2020.
According to HIMSS Europe, data protection in the healthcare industry is not up to the mark, which is why identity-frauds happen.
In the following screenshot, you can see an upward trend in data breaches from 2009 to 2019.
Employing Advanced Health Technology
The adoption of new technology is another significant challenge healthcare facilities are dealing with today. Software applications such as Patient Administration System, Laboratory information management, Appointment scheduling software are powered using machine learning and artificial intelligence. To harness advanced healthcare technology to the fullest, medical staff must know how to connect to a secured healthcare environment. An identity verification system ensures the security of a patient’s medical record.
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Why is the Healthcare Industry the Major Victim of Identity Theft & Data Breaches?
According to Forbes, in 2016, it breached nine times more medical than financial records. While the number of data breaches in other industries like information technology, manufacturing, and financial services has declined over the years, it has skyrocketed in the medical industry.
Why is it happening? Why is the healthcare industry such a big target? The reason is the private medical data is worth a great deal of money to cyberattackers. Hospitals and healthcare facilities store an incredible amount of patient data that attackers sell quickly.
According to the head of investigations at the HHS Office, Gary Cantrell: “hackers prefer to steal patient data as they are like “a treasure trove of all this information about you.” Meanwhile, the medical record contains a patient’s full name, address history, financial information, and even a social security number.
How is technology changing the healthcare sector?
Medical devices are an easy access point for attackers
While innovation has a myriad of benefits, it has a few downsides as well. Medical devices responsible for online security and patient data protection open up various access points for cyber attackers. Most medical equipment types were designed by manufacturing firms for one purpose – like dispensing drugs or monitoring a patient’s health. They’re generally not made with data security in mind.
Healthcare facilities accessing data remotely, opening up more possibilities for cyberattacks
Nowadays, staff works collaboratively to offer the best treatment to every patient. However, working remotely from different devices might be risky, as not all devices are secured. With one compromised device, a hacker can access the network and steal all the crucial medical data.
Since healthcare information needs to be open and shareable to provide the best possible treatment, healthcare facilities must implement a robust identity verification solution. It will reduce the risk of online threats.
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Role of Identity Verification in the Healthcare Industry
The challenges in the healthcare industry are innumerable. Undoubtedly, identity verification can resolve not all issues. Still, there are several ways in which digital identity verification can enable hospitals and healthcare providers to impart better yet secured medical services.
Let’s get to know about them.
Protection of Patient Records
With technological advancements, cybercrime has also increased ten folds. According to Fiercehealthcare, it breached 32 million patient records in 2019. As a result, the protection of patient records has become very important.
Using antivirus and anti-malware systems is not enough. Healthcare facilities must implement a proper identity verification system capable of identifying and authenticating patient identities. A powerful identity verification eliminates the risk of identity theft and fraud to a great extent.
Managing Patient Treatments and Records
A proper identification and verification procedure allows healthcare providers to manage and access patients instantly. With a digital identity verification system, healthcare staff can immediately access the patient’s data by identifying them remotely.
Verifying Patient Identity for Compliance
According to Europe’s GDPR privacy law, healthcare organizations that serve patients from any of 28 EU nations need to familiarize themselves with the law to ensure compliance. In the United States, compliance regulations such as HITECH and HIPAA are there to verify patient identity.
Healthcare facilities that don’t comply with these acts might have to pay hefty financial penalties.
If you are a healthcare provider dealing with identity-related frauds, iDenfy can come to your rescue. It provides a powerful identity verification solution that uses AI, ML, deep learning, MRZ, and OCR to make patients’ identity verification process more straightforward. To know more, you can visit website or book a meeting with us.