In a world where more information is housed online than in security deposit boxes, it is a wise move for senior housing executives to evaluate data security for their communities. But when it comes to data security, how can executives know what is important and what is optional? Since many senior care communities operate without a designated IT staff or department, it can be difficult to know best practices for senior housing data security. Here are just a few reasons why executives should invest in technology with stringent and specialized data security support.
Security for Resident Information
The senior housing industry is full of senior living options that range from independent living to skilled nursing. In any case, residents often share medical information with staff members that end up in electronic medical records. That information is covered by HIPAA, which means that privacy for that medical information should be of the utmost importance to executives.
Information from daily vitals to medical histories are stored online, and are vulnerable to technology hacks that could lead to privacy breaches. However, with the guidance of a technology company well versed and experienced with senior care and HIPAA compliance, senior housing executives can assure that data security is a number one priority within the technology onsite.
Beyond HIPAA information, residents are also vulnerable to security breaches for other types of personal information. With seniors becoming more and more comfortable with daily internet usage, residents are often moving in with tablets, smartphones, email addresses, and Facebook passwords. Because of these added users on the senior community’s platform, extra stress can be put on a subpar data security system. With the right help and platform, senior care executives can assure that other resident personal information stays secure.
Security for Staff Information
When building an online technology platform, senior care executives need to acknowledge the variety of users of the technology and the surrounding WiFi. Beyond resident users, staff members are also sharing information via technology, including passwords to gain access to clinical information and personal information that they may be sharing via WiFi during breaks. A well thought out data security plan will include protecting staff and volunteer information, in addition to resident or guest information.
Data security is vital for the health, safety, and compliance of a senior housing community. If senior executives are attempting to find a secure platform and structure for their own senior care community, and are trying to do it without a trusted IT professional, it can be overwhelming and even unsafe in the long run. Finding a technology company with senior housing and HIPAA experience, along with excellent resources to assist the community on-site, can be the key to both success and peace of mind.
How does your community currently view data security? Do you believe your community is ahead of the curve or behind it?