Cybersecurity for Patient Safety

Patient safety is a key topic in healthcare. Companies utilize safeguards in a variety of ways to ensure patient safety. Some of these safety practices include safeguards for patients receiving the correct treatments and medications, procedures to ensure patients are safe in their environment, and processes for providers to follow for properly communicating patient information. Most people might not consider cybersafety when thinking about patient safety, but it is an essential component to keeping patients and their data safe. Healthcare systems have a responsibility to provide reliable security to patients to protect against fraud, eliminate security breaches, and allow patients the peace of mind in knowing appointments with their providers are secure.

Information safety

A patient’s medical record is filled with sensitive information

  • Medical diagnoses
  • Provider documentation
  • Financial and billing information

A patient’s medical records are protected by law, allowing the patient, the provider, and certain authorized parties such as insurance companies to view medical documentation. If a healthcare system doesn’t take the proper steps to ensure patient’s records are safe, the fallout for patients could be catastrophic. An illegally obtained medical record could result in medical identity theft, or the record being used toward discrimination or a personal grievance such as an employment dispute. Medical diagnoses and provider documentation must be kept safe from those who seek to obtain sensitive information illegally.

Financial and billing information is equally important to keep secure. Insurance policy numbers and financial account numbers that are obtained through illegal access to a provider’s system could cause a multitude of problems for the patient. Insurance fraud and financial identity theft could lead to patients being unable to obtain the medical care they need and financial loss. Financial security is also important where payment for medical services is concerned. With the widespread use of online bill paying, healthcare institutions must provide secure online payment options.


Healthcare systems have a responsibility to provide cybersecurity at the highest level. By utilizing systems such as Autonomous Management Framework and self-defending networks, companies provide the protection their patients need and simplify security processes. These systems work with the existing firewall to provide the highest level of protection possible. Not only do these systems provide the necessary security, but they also support the IT departments in healthcare facilities that manage network coverage.

Educating employees is another way companies can protect their patients. Most security breaches come from inside a company’s network. Not that employees hold all of the responsibility for allowing potential vulnerability in a system’s network, but they must be educated on the topic. Proper use of personal devices at work includes communication with other providers, but does not include utilizing social media platforms that provide opportunities for cyber vulnerability.

Patient satisfaction

Another hot topic in healthcare is patient satisfaction. Medical compliance from patients as well as reimbursement from Medicaid and private insurance rely heavily on patient satisfaction scores. Although important, quality of care isn’t the only contributing factor for patient satisfaction. The overall quality of a patient’s stay in a healthcare facility contributes to their level of satisfaction. If a patient is provided with a secure network for telehealth visits and is guaranteed security for their financial and medical records, this goes a long way in showing the overall quality of service a healthcare system provides.

The recent surge in telehealth medicine has put a spotlight on the importance of cybersecurity. A patient needs to have a high level of comfort with their provider and believe their information will remain private in order for telehealth medicine to prove effective. If a patient feels their privacy is in jeopardy, they will be less likely to thoroughly discuss their health concerns and comply with attending virtual visits.

What can providers do?

Healthcare providers must utilize products that guarantee the most reliable security for their patients. By partnering with Allied Telesis, healthcare companies are providing a guarantee to their patients that they are taking their cyber safety seriously. The reliance on technology in healthcare is a continuing trend that will only continue to expand with time. As the growth of online services continues, healthcare providers must keep informed of updates and trends in cybersecurity to ensure their patients are receiving the most up-to-date products and security available.