What is the cost to a medical facility for having a mobile device or portable laptop with patient information lost or stolen? Can a price tag be placed on privacy? The United States Department of Health and Human Services can and does put a price tag on security breaches. According to DHHS documents on their website, on October 11, 2011, Lahey Clinical Hospital, Inc. reported a breach of its unsecured electronic protected health information (“ePHI”) when a laptop containing information of 599 patients was stolen from their radiology department. According to the website, this breach cost Lahey $850,000 in fines. In a separate incident, a stolen laptop from the car of an employee who worked for Cancer Care Group resulted in a $750,000 fine for the company. The stolen laptop reportedly did not contain “ePHI” data, but a “computer server backup media”, apparently in the same laptop bag contained the “ePHI” of approximately 55,000 individuals. In both of these cases, the complaints stated the companies failed to conduct thorough risk assessment for vulnerabilities in relation to “ePHI”. Two incidents cost over 1.5 Million dollars in fines. Could these fines have been avoided? It is very possible they could have, had the companies had a comprehensive security plan in place that included Alpha Thunder Tags and the Classic N10 antenna.
It is important to be proactive and create a plan before an i-pad, tablet theft, or laptop theft occurs. What are some steps your company can take to protect information?
• Ensure you have secure areas inaccessible to the public. You may even want to use pass code enabled door locks to prevent unauthorized entry. It is in these areas your mobile devices should be secured when not in use.
• Be sure all of your mobile devices are encrypted. While a hacker may be able to eventually get through encryption, it is difficult and time consuming.
• Number all laptops and devices and require an audit of the devices at the end of the day to ensure they are accounted for.
• Require all devices be signed for before being checked out for use. Signing for something tends to make people feel more accountable for something and it does make it easier to track if a device is out when an audit is conducted.
• Secure all devices with an Alpha Thunder Tag. The Thunder Tag will set off an electronic article surveillance system if someone were to attempt to exit the building with it.
• Install the Classic N10 antenna at ALL entrance and exit points. Even if it is a staff only entrance/exit, it will help detect if someone accidentally attempts to leave with a device.
• If External hard drives are used for data storage, be sure these are protected and accounted for in the same manner as your laptops and mobile devices.
• Use the S3 Locking Counter Key for removing the Alpha Thunder Tag if it has to leave the building for some reason, such as a repair. The counter key can be secured to a counter and the key locked to the base when not in use, preventing someone from removing an Alpha Thunder Tag from a mobile device.
Concerned your office space is too small for an EAS antenna? The Classic N10 is designed specifically for smaller entrances or lobby areas. The space requirement for this antenna is far less than the traditional models and will not detract from the small practice that has minimal waiting room space. This antenna will provide the same protection afforded by the larger models so you won’t have to be concerned about whether or not it would detect a device being removed from the office.
Mobile devices and laptops are leading to major improvements in providing improved patient healthcare. Better accuracy in data entry, faster access to medical records, the ability for real-time patient consultations between healthcare providers are some of the benefits to the industry. The opportunity for security compromise is the flip side of the equation. Don’t allow your practice to be the object of a huge DHHS fine. Consult with Checkpoint experts to see what protections including Alpha Thunder Tags they may have that can secure your mobile devices from theft and loss.
For more information on Alpha Thunder Tags contact us or call 1.770.426.0547