4 Steps to Secure the Healthcare Data Supply Chain!

Healthcare Data Supply Chain

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Data security has become a major concern over the last few years. It’s the responsibility of every sector, including the Healthcare Data Supply Chain, to ensure they secure their sensitive data from cyberattacks and other related issues.

However, protecting sensitive data in the healthcare sector is no easy feat. A healthcare facility must ensure they secure sensitive data while simultaneously delivering quality services and adhering to regulatory compliance.

Gone are the days when sensitive patient information was stored in physical form. Thanks to technological advancement, the healthcare data supply chain is more digitally able than ever.

With the introduction of cloud computing and Big Data, it’s easier for healthcare service providers to access sensitive data, regardless of the physical location, and collaborate with other experts, improving the quality of services offered. However, as with any high-speed digital evolution, there are complexities and risks.

In the modern world, sensitive patient information is at more risk of manipulation and deletion than in the preceding years. Thus, healthcare facilities need to identify the ideal strategies to secure their data supply chain, improving the integrity of their information. 

The following article summarizes what you need to know about the healthcare data supply chain. You’ll learn what the healthcare data supply chain is, strategies to secure it, and more. Read on.

What Is Healthcare Data Supply Chain?

Healthcare data plays a huge role when making decisions. For this reason, it’s crucial to ensure your sensitive data is safe from manipulation and other issues that may affect your healthcare data’s integrity. Using compromised data to make decisions could deteriorate the situation and affect the efficiency of your production line.

Securing your healthcare data supply chain will ensure the sensitive information maintains its integrity from collection to analysis, guaranteeing you make informed decisions.

Why Is It Important To Secure Healthcare Data Supply Chain?

As mentioned above, healthcare data is at a higher risk of manipulation and cyberattacks. However, implementing the ideal security measures will go a long way in protecting healthcare-sensitive data from manipulation and deletion, improving the integrity of the information.

The following are the benefits of securing and managing the healthcare data supply chain. They include:

1. Regulatory Compliance

Every industry has rules and regulations surrounding its operations, and healthcare is no different. Regulatory compliance ensures your healthcare facility handles sensitive data with utmost importance, protecting your data from ever-evolving cyberattacks.

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Complying with ever-changing regulations can be challenging, especially if you’re not equipped with the right skills. However, you can visit  https://techumen.com/hipaa-audit/ or any reputable service provider in your locality to stay up-to-date with the set rules and standards, guaranteeing you comply and secure your data supply chain.

2. Maintain The Integrity Of Data

Healthcare data plays a huge role when making decisions. For this reason, it’s important to ensure your sensitive data is safe from manipulation and other issues that could affect your healthcare data’s integrity. Using compromised data to make decisions could deteriorate the situation and affect the efficiency of your production line.

Securing your healthcare data supply chain will ensure the sensitive information maintains its integrity from collection to analysis, guaranteeing you make informed decisions.

3. Improved Reputation

As mentioned above, it’s your responsibility as the healthcare facility to ensure you implement ideal security measures to protect your data supply chain. If it’s breached or falls into the wrong hands, this could lead to fines and lawsuits, affecting your public image and reputation.

Also, your license might be revoked, affecting your facility operations. However, securing your data supply chain will save you from these problems and ensure you maintain your public image. 

How To Secure Healthcare Data Supply Chain

There are several strategies you can employ to secure your healthcare data supply chain from cyberattacks. They include:

1. Control Data Accessibility

Allowing everyone to access your sensitive data may increase your chances of data breaches. For this reason, it’s crucial to ensure you control the accessibility of sensitive data. One of the best ways to achieve this is by ensuring data is only accessible on a need-to-know basis.

This means that the healthcare data is only available to your workforce when they need it; hence, they won’t be able to access it whenever they choose. You can also limit accessibility based on the qualifications. Thus, an unqualified person won’t be able to access a certain level of data, protecting sensitive information from manipulation and other related issues.  

2. Offer Efficient Training Programs

One of the major causes of data breaches is the lack of proper skills and know-how when handling healthcare-sensitive data. For this reason, it’s vital to ensure your workforce is properly trained in data handling and management, improving the efficiency of your security architecture. 

This way, the team members will exercise caution when collecting, processing, or consuming healthcare data. They’ll also be equipped with the necessary know-how to recognize potential threats and make informed decisions, protecting your healthcare-sensitive data.

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There are several ways you can offer training programs to your workforce. You might offer in-house training programs and ensure your team members understand the importance of securing your healthcare data supply chain. Also, you can reach out to third-party service providers to offer training programs to your workforce. While it might have higher upfront costs, efficient training programs may save you some bucks and maintain your credibility in the long run. 

3. Develop An Incident Response Plan

In the event of a data breach, it’s crucial to ensure you stop information theft. An incident response plan will prevent the threat from causing more harm, affecting your production line. The incident response plan will give a clear framework with steps and instructions which must be followed in case of a data breach. 

Entitling this responsibility to a team will help create accountability, ensuring the work gets done. The incident response team should offer training programs to new hires to ensure they understand the security protocols, which must be followed in case of a cyber threat. 

4. Conduct Regular Risk Assessment

Although audit training may help you identify the cause of a data breach, proactive measures are equally important. Regular assessments may help you identify weak points in your healthcare data supply chain.

Identifying and addressing these vulnerabilities early may save you from costly cyberattacks, helping secure your sensitive data.

Wrapping Up

As discussed above, securing the healthcare data supply chain plays a major role in improving your competitive advantage and maintaining your healthcare facility’s public image, credibility, and reputation.

However, choosing the ideal strategy can be challenging, especially when you don’t have the necessary know-how. Thus, it’s essential to conduct extensive research to implement the right way to secure your healthcare data, improving its integrity.

Author Bio

Claire Glassman is an Information Technology (IT) student. She loves sharing her work through blogs and seminars. During her free time, Claire enjoys hiking, camping, and spending time with her dog, Greg.

Healthcare Data Supply Chain article and permission to publish here provided by Claire Glassman. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on June 22, 2022.

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