How to Handle Concern for Clinical Outcomes and Data Protection

Concern for Clinical Outcomes is always present in a healthcare organization because the state of outcome measure is a representation of the well being of a healthcare organization and the quality of care that the patients receive. There are seven main outcome measures that can be used to determine the state of a healthcare organization. Measuring clinical outcomes is important because it leads to improved patient care experience, a reduction in the cost of care, and the overall improvement in population health.

Concern for Clinical OutcomesHow to Avoid Data
Loss That Will
Affect Clinical
Outcomes

Strong Data Policies

A healthcare organization needs to have a strong data policy that will protect the data prevent the occurrences of data loss and data breaches. In many cases data that is considered intellectual property and data that has sensitive patient information is also stored in the general database but has an extra level of protection.

The data policy should establish these different data levels and access passes so everyone in the organization is aware of their authority when it comes to data and understands what they can and cannot access. For example, some healthcare organizations have the “bring your own device” policy. This policy usually helps when a healthcare organization cannot afford to buy enough devices for doctors and nurses to use. In cases like this, doctors and nurses can bring their own devices and access the hospital database with it.

The setback of this is that there are higher possibilities of there being a data breach and it can lead to more problems. For example, sensitive data can e copied or downloaded into the personal devices of hospital staff which can then be accessed by third parties.Concern for Clinical Outcomes

In addition, whit the “bring your own device” policy hackers and data thieves will find it easier to access the system because there will be many points of entry not protected by any strong security system. If a hospital has to have the bring your own device policy, in order to avoid these setbacks, preventive measures should be put in place that will prevent data from being downloaded or copied into these devices.

Healthcare organizations should also encrypt the data and put protections that can make it only that it can be accessed within the healthcare organization. The personal devices being used should also be authorized and given proper permissions so that if the data is copied for example to an authorized device, it will not render in a way that it can be read or used. It also means doctors and nurses have to choose one device to use and they can’t come with a different device every day as that just increases the risk of a breach.

Protect Critical InfrastructureConcern for Clinical Outcomes

Have you ever seen a movie (movies like mission IMpossible, James Bond, Jack Ryan etc) where they have to breach a system or infiltrate a company in other to have access to the data storage room and plant a device so they can hack into the system and bla bla bla. This is used a lot because organizations who are concerned about their data security, put a lot into protecting their data storage facilities.

When a data network has critical intellectual property, it should be kept safely and securely and if possible it should be separated from the corporate network that’s accessed by employees every day. Not only that but only authorized personnel should be allowed to access the network by having a special security clearance that includes passwords, key codes, and even special ID cards that can be scanned.

Not every employee should have access to all levels of data but rather, there should be data security levels that reflect the level of the employee and their need for data.

Proper Data Storage MonitoringConcern for Clinical Outcomes

One way an organization can protect its clinical outcomes through proper data storage is by monitoring the data properly and watching out for suspicious activity. There should be check and balances in place that will alert the system when there is an activity that does not fit the daily norm or when there is an activity that is out of the ordinary.

For example, if an employees pass is used to sign into a data facility more than the normal number of times or in two different locations at the same time, then you know that there has to be a problem and it can be investigated immediately.

Also if the system is being logged into repeatedly with the wrong password, then it should be locked down after a number of tries or security should be alerted about the many attempts so any suspiciousness can be investigated.

It even exists in our mobile devices so why not also for a data system that contains sensitive and valuable information? Besides monitoring access, activity should also be monitored. When an employee is trying to access data that they do not need or do not have access to then the system should flag it down.

For example, in an architectural firm, the accounting department has no reason to try to access data about blueprints or building permits of a project. There should be a chain of command on who can access certain data. And so if the accounting department for some reason needs data on blueprints for a project there should be a process that they can go through to get it.