How to Increase HIPAA-Compliant Collaboration Among Hospital Staff

SADA Says | Cloud Computing Blog

By SADA Says | Cloud Computing Blog

Many healthcare centers in the US are having a security standoff, and much of it is due to doctors, nurses, and other staff using personal devices – none of which are HIPAA-compliant – to discuss patient information. Theft of these personal devices accounted for 66% of data breaches in one study, while another found that stolen electronic health records (EHR) -which can be stolen via malware, phishing scams, or other hacking tool – can fetch thousands of dollars per patient on the black market.

Money is a big motivator in cybercrime, so administrators will have to reconcile care staff working together with newer, smart strategies for protecting data. While executives might complain about the price tag, not spending budget on security is even costlier; the average cost of a breach is $3.6 million. This begs the question: what can hospital workers do to ensure that collaboration and HIPAA security requirements aren’t at odds with each other?

Check out how the HIPAA-compliant features of G Suite can help hospitals provide best-in-class collaboration tools while also keeping data secure.

Send and Store EHR Through HIPAA-Compliant Collaboration

G Suite, which has been HIPAA-compliant since 2014, has numerous tools for sharing and safeguarding patient data. Gmail enables healthcare workers to send patient documents such as x-rays, audio/video notes from staff, and sensitive financial information. Bad or no internet connectivity? Not a problem, as Gmail enables you to check your inbox and prepare emails, all while offline (and send them when you’re back online).

Google Drive allows users to store any type of file online, ensuring staff that they’ll always be working with the most recent version of a file. Further, administrators can control privacy settings so only required personnel have access to certain documents. CloudComputing News emphasizes the benefits perfectly:

“By allowing (healthcare) professionals to store and access data remotely…(administrators are) allowing doctors to save those precious life-saving minutes.”

Collaborate Without Any Barriers

Doctors and nurses are often spread out across different floors, and in many care networks, the likely work in different buildings. The challenge of coordinating staff schedules and effectively collaborating in real-time are tough to overcome. Hangouts can be used for live video chats, or communicating via chat window, to collaborate on patient records and formulate a game plan. Staff can access any G Suite product via computer or mobile/tablet app, so being separated geographically won’t stop care workers from developing a strategy.

Docs, Sheets, and Slides come with G Suite and have collaboration tools built in to the apps. No matter where a staff member is, he or she can access an EHR, leave comments, and even make edits. And it’s all HIPAA compliant communication. As an added value, all documents include sharing protections for added security, and are always up-to-date, so staff will never have to worry about if they’re looking at the current version, or waste time by slogging through email threads looking for files. One more benefit to G Suite? Its mobility features enable staff to more securely use their phones for work use, which would impact 39% of physicians.

Develop a Smarter, More Well-Trained Staff

Since all files can confidently be housed using G Suite’s HIPAA-approved storage tools, everything from patient x rays and test results to accounting info and organizational data can be recorded for getting new hires more quickly get acquainted to your carecenter’s workflows, policies, and processes.

You can also re-access these files for future training purposes. If a patient has a rare illness, care staff can search for all information related to that disease, should they suspect a new patient might also have it. Doctors and nurses can use that information to build a treatment strategy, while also accessing new information about that affliction. These are HIPAA-compliant ways to discuss hospital operations and patient care, all while reducing the need for a litany of solutions providers whose products don’t integrate the way G Suite does.

What are your hospital’s biggest HIPAA challenges, and how does that affect your ability to provide efficient, top-notch patient care? G Suite is built with HIPAA-compliance in its DNA, staff can collaborate more effectively, while administrators can rest easy knowing hospital date is more protected than ever.

Speak with a SADA Consultant today about how G Suite for Healthcare can help your hospital make a bigger impact on patients and on the bottom line.

For more information on Google for Healthcare, reach out to us today! 


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