In the blink of an eye, our country, and countries around the globe had to switch gears and learn a new way of working from remote locations. The learning curve is huge, but for many industries the technology already existed to work from home or secure locations. Sadly, one especially hard hit field is the healthcare industry. Healthcare usually requires face-to-face meeting with a patient and in many cases physical exams or treatments for whatever ails the person. Thankfully, with the easing of rules to the HIPAA Laws regarding patient privacy and the sharing of information (especially digital information,) the healthcare industry is adapting to the new way of doing things.
What is Telehealthcare?
Telehealth is something we may have all heard of in past years, but it has become a crucial part of patient care during this Coronavirus outbreak. Telehealth and telemedicine refer to remote clinical and non-clinical services. From conducting appointments and consultations via Zoom for Healthcare to managing a triage situation, telehealth is changing the way we are thinking about healthcare. Many healthcare organizations can operate several key components of their industry remotely. These components could include: medical research, patient assessment, medical procedure appointment scheduling, record keeping and triage health advising.
Strategies for Patient Care and Digital Security
Nurses and healthcare managers wear several different “hats,” per se, as they go about their daily routines whether they deal one-on-one with patients or via remote services. These doctors, nurses, and dental workers must balance patient care with what is expected of them federally through the HIPAA Privacy Laws. Depending upon the specific work you plan to do remotely, you will need to empower your staff with certain tools necessary to get the job done while maintaining the privacy required. Some of the tools that you may want to consider include:
Team-wide access to shared databases and common computer programs. Access should be available from any location that can receive wireless transfer of information. Security for these databases should include firewalls, VPNs, and several levels of access controls.
Email hosted "in the cloud," or otherwise stored on an external digital server. This will assist in communication as well as transferring time-sensitive data.
Excellent mobile phone service is necessary for remote workers, for both conversational purposes or even to act as a modem for a laptop in areas of low wireless capability.
Digital signatures are crucial in remote healthcare.
IT support for healthcare workers who have questions about security, functioning or access to information as it pertains to the HIPAA act.
Do you have questions about the security or remote aspects of setting up your healthcare team? Talk to our specialists or contact us today.