Technology can give senior living and senior care communities the leg up on competitors and the opportunity to serve residents in an even safer environment. Between remote monitoring and fall prevention techniques, artificial intelligence and IT systems are freeing up staff time and noticing fall and illness risks before a crisis emerges. But with every positive gain, savvy senior care executives and IT professionals know that risks lurk behind even the most secure firewall.
What are the risks?
With reports of hackers getting into major companies, along with concerns over individual insurance fraud and identity theft, senior care communities are not necessarily immune from significant attacks online. Senior care communities are ditching paper charting and using electronic medical records instead, and the marriage of online technology and senior health care doesn’t end there. High tech communities are using IT and artificial intelligence for remote monitoring purposes, along with fall and illness prevention that is driven by online technology. Each time resident and staff information is put into online systems, the risk for cyber theft is there. Experienced hackers can find online information for residents that range from social security and Veterans Administration numbers to health insurance information, family contacts and medical records.
Beyond the information that senior living IT systems hold about residents, there are the residents themselves. Seniors are no longer strangers to internet. Most have email addresses and Facebook pages. With more and more residents surfing the internet, senior living executives and IT professionals must be confident that resident information is secure on shared WiFi spaces and throughout the community network.
What are the solutions?
Technology is here to stay, and the senior living industry has not even started to see the impact that artificial intelligence can have on the care and safety of residents. However, it is crucial for there to be safeguards in place to assure that security remains in tact.
One way to maintain community security is to use a health care technology company that specializes in senior care. Senior care communities are not hospitals or clinics, and require specialized technology to best serve residents. Senior care technology companies will not only be familiar with HIPAA and other federal regulations, but will also be well versed in setting up network specifications that keep seniors safe while on the internet.
Further, senior care executives would be wise to assure that the health care technology they are using comes with a point person to assist with all technology issues. While having an IT professional on staff is wonderful, having a representative from the healthcare IT security company onsite is a sure fire way to be sure that your system is upgraded and running on all cylinders, ready to take on outside attacks without causing a scare.
Any senior care community that is online and uses technology is at risk of an information leak or hack. However, with experienced senior care technology services on board, the community can be confident that the best protective measures are in place.
How do you assure that your residents are safe while online? How do you assure that your community network is secure?