Healthcare Security: 3 Simple Ways to Maintain System Integrity

Healthcare security is a constant balancing act between securing the facility while being open and welcoming, and on top of it all, continuing to provide outstanding patient care. With constant visitor traffic, access to multiple buildings, protecting confidential information and hectic emergency departments, it is challenging for hospital staff to stay on top of every aspect of system management.

Here are 3 best practices to ensure security system health and mitigate potential risk through future planning:

#1 PROACTIVELY MANAGE SYSTEM SOFTWARE

Maintaining software support agreements and following standard cybersecurity policies for your security systems are critical to eliminating unnecessary risks. Often, security software is treated as a one-off solution and standard IT policies are not maintained. In today’s connected world, security software and hardware are critical points to maintaining both physical and cyber-secure facilities. Software updates and firmware patches are actionable items that should be addressed on a consistent, scheduled basis to ensure you are both maximizing your system with new features and eliminating risks on your network. Encryption adoption is another avenue for limiting exposure of your staff, patients and data. New credentials and panels provide improved encryption methods that reduce potential network and facility breaches.

#2 IMPLEMENT HARDWARE LIFECYCLE PLAN

In addition to software updates, it is also critical to stay ahead of hardware and technology changes. Even if there are no challenges currently visible, risk may be growing behind the scenes. Many potential risks from hardware go unnoticed until a critical failure point. Addressing those risks via a proactive lifecycle plan will mitigate failure points and hopefully avoid system outages. Understanding your systems design and component locations is another proactive step that can be taken to better respond should a failure occur. When a failure does happen, seconds and minutes matter. Knowing where the important equipment is in your facility can dramatically improve the time it takes to rectify the issue.

#3 COLLABORATE WITH IT AND FACILITIES

A big cause of overall security system health and dysfunction is that there are many moving parts and it can become hard to properly manage them all at once. Today’s security leaders in healthcare are challenged not only with securing an open atmosphere and planning for the future, but also by a lack of organizational prominence. We see security departments placed across a wide range of locations as it relates to organizational charts. IT, Operations, Facilities, Finance, Legal and Security itself are some of the places where security departments report up through. This uncertainty of security’s role in the strategic plan of an organization creates difficulty in building and funding a robust security plan. This is not to say that healthcare organizations do not view security as a part of their critical infrastructure, we know they do, but unfortunately, very few have properly funded security budgets. Instead, security is dependent on collaboration across multiple departments to receive funding. This lack of budget requires security leaders to create a strong partnership most commonly with IT and Facilities to work together, establish a security plan and properly budget to eliminate any surprise funding.

Learn how Pro-Tec Design can help mitigate these risks by scheduling a Health Check assessment.

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