Patient Security Improved w/ Cloud Computing

Background

Being able to securely transfer data between a patient’s care team and provide remote services is crucial to providing preventive and personalized care. One area of concern is telehealth, which has become increasingly used to provide remote care. A survey revealed that 52% of telehealth providers experienced patients who declined remote services due to concern for their privacy [1]. Moreover, 29% of respondents revealed that clinicians exchanged data without a password with third parties [1]. 54% also shared that remote services were conducted on apps not typically used for medical care such as Facebook and Zoom [1]. Therefore, it is not surprising to find that a third of respondents had clinicians who experienced compromised data during remote care sessions. Alarmingly, 33% of the organizations faced data leaks and cyber-attacks due to data exchange with third parties. Therefore, securing and protecting a patient’s data is crucial to providing remote services and secure data transfer.

Solution

Secure Infrastructure

Cloud computing provides an effective solution for maintaining patient security. For instance, cloud providers can supply encryption services that use codes to make data unreadable without the encryption key [2]. The data can be more secure with the use of multiple keys and layered encryption. Furthermore, providers alone often lack the resources necessary to maintain a highly secure infrastructure. However, they can achieve this goal cost-effectively with cloud computing. Moreover, providers can use advanced firewalls, secure connectivity options, and HIPAA-compliant data transmission to ensure data security. Cloud services are also easy to update, which allows for current virus protection and optimal services. 

Monitor & Secure Data

Additionally, cloud computing provides monitoring services that supply automated tools to prevent malware and intrusion [3]. They can be used to identify who is assessing what data, and if they have the proper clearance to do so [2]. Furthermore, cloud computing securely recovers data during a system failure or a natural disaster. Therefore, the cloud protects patient data against theft, destruction, and displacement. Furthermore, cloud computing promotes patient safety by protecting data from those who should not be accessing it and from unusual activity. This will increase confidence in remote services and provide secure data exchange and access to a patient’s complete medical record. 

Conclusion

Oftentimes, data at rest is secure, but data in transit may not be. Currently, remote services are becoming increasingly popular, even amidst security concerns about a patient’s record being accessed without consent. Cloud computing allows for remote services and secure data transfer. Healthcare providers will be able to access patient health records wherever they are with minimal risk to patient security. This allows chronic and older patients to receive personalized care securely from their homes. Overall, moving to cloud computing is a step in the right direction to providing more patient-centric solutions that lead to better health outcomes. 

References

  1. https://mhealthintelligence.com/news/52-of-providers-say-patients-declined-telehealth-due-to-security-concerns#:~:text=But%2052%20percent%20of%20telehealth,shared%20from%20these%20virtual%20sessions
  2. https://coastaltelehealth.com/cloud-based-telehealth-defined-advantages-applications-and-security/ 
  3. https://www.foreseemed.com/blog/cloud-computing-in-healthcare