This is a frightening, but very serious problem. We’re surrounded by confidential patient data as healthcare providers. Unfortunately, so much privacy and security awareness are centered on patient information, leaving little support for the healthcare data security of travel employees. Employers and workers are ultimately responsible for avoiding harmful behaviors and navigating systems on their own.
For all travel healthcare professionals, data protection will be at the top of the agenda. Professionals’ data is more vulnerable in the healthcare industry, and it’s your obligation as a traveler and/or recruiter to use the best procedures to keep everyone secure. Remote data sharing is common among healthcare professionals and their recruiters, especially during key onboarding processes such as:
- Certifications in text format
- Credentials sent through email
- Licenses for faxing
- DOBs and SSNs through text
You can see where we’re headed with this.
Thousands of healthcare professionals’ personal information is collected and stored by travel healthcare staffing businesses, Human resource managers, and compliance teams for possible lead sourcing, creating a gold mine for troublesome hackers looking to get vast quantities of sensitive personal data.
An employee’s (or potential patients) profile should include their names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, patient history, bank details, addresses, and other vital professional information. Many big organizations are already experiencing data security difficulties, as we’ve learned in recent days, and employees are in danger of carrying the long-term expenses of these issues through missed time, stress, and possibly financial loss. You can read this article to know more about cyber security threats: https://cybermagazine.com/cyber-security/top-10-cyber-security-threats
Personal information should not be sent through email or text. There is a time and a place for email and text messages. Many of our online chats are innocent, however, when it comes to exchanging sensitive information, you should think hard before pushing “send.” When it comes to healthcare experts and employment agencies, the necessity for speed motivates them to gather and export data as quickly as possible. Travelers and recruiters use unsafe methods to communicate and receive information, adding to the rising variety of personal data breaches at the hands of hackers.
However, it isn’t all doom and gloom, because there are ways to safeguard your information. Let’s start with the definition of “encryption.” At its most basic level, encryption is the act of taking plain text and converting it into something else using a “key.” Learn more about encryption here. You can only decrypt this nonsense line of data if you have the key for encryption.
The Perils of Email
While the communication of both you and your email provider might well be encrypted, the link between your email provider and the destination server is almost certainly not. If you wouldn’t readily hand the information in the email to a stranger, don’t assume it is safe to send it. If in doubt, send snail mail or interoffice mail in order to prevent cyberthieves from gaining your information.
Problems with Text
When we talk about insecure texting, we’re referring to SMS (short message service). When you send personal information by SMS, it is not protected and can be read by cellphone companies or intercepted by cybercriminals. Data security healthcare professionals strongly advise against ever sending any personal information to anyone via text, work-related or otherwise.
Data Security Suggestions
Tips for Healthcare Professionals on Data Security
Avoid risky behaviors. Personal information and documents should not be sent through email or text. Read the privacy rules of the entities you choose to share with and make sure they are following safe procedures. Choose a credential management platform that prioritizes healthcare data protection. Treat your personal information with the same level of caution as your financial information.
Data Security Tips for Staffing Agencies: Get a Free, Secure Digital Wallet
All data communications must be encrypted. Also, if your organization sends personal information via email, consider encrypting it. Make improvements to your technological infrastructure. Increasing the security of your security tools will provide an additional layer of data protection.
Set clear expectations for the recruiter’s obligations in protecting sensitive information by discussing what sorts of information are deemed sensitive. Provide a safe, mobile-friendly manner for your healthcare applicants to apply and enroll with your agency, so they aren’t tempted to provide sensitive information over email.