The problem of patient medical information being stolen is not going away any time soon nor is the threat of medical iPad theft. As an example in a Jan. 3, 2018 article in beckershospitalreview.com by Julie Spitzer, “Stolen computer at Penn Medicine compromises 1k patient records”, the writer says, “Philadelphia-based Penn Medicine mailed letters to roughly 1,000 patients, alerting them to a potential compromise of their personal information after an unencrypted laptop was stolen from the hospital…” The facility claimed that credit card, bank account information and social security numbers were not included in the computer but other patient data was. The solutions many medical institutions want to implement are stricter encryption and security password implementation to prevent potential hacking should a device be stolen. The team at Loss Prevention Systems Inc. has a better means of protecting against iPad theft and medical tablet theft and that is the use of a Bug Tag on all devices.
The Bug Tag uses electronic article surveillance (EAS) technology working with EAS pedestals to create a virtual electronic barrier to theft. The tag emits a constant radio frequency signal. When that signal is detected by a EAS pedestal a sound is activated that is so loud that in a big box retail store it can be heard from one end of the building to the other. LED lights in pedestals flash drawing more attention to an attempted breach (it also alerts someone who may be hearing impaired that a tagged device is being removed from the building). When an alarm is set off employees respond to the exit and retrieve the device from the offending party. What if the thief runs out after an alarm? Use the 3-alarm Bug Tag and an internal alarm in the tag activates and the criminal can be picked out in a crowd. What if someone just pulls a tag off and then steals the iPad? No problem. The same internal alarm activates if the tag is tampered with and employees respond to the sound of the alarm and recover the unit. As a Loss Prevention Manager I saw the effectiveness of EAS pedestals and how the alarms saved untold thousands of dollars in merchandise in my store. That same protection can keep mobile medical devices in a medical facility.
The concern over continued medical device theft and data breaches is extensive enough that a story in delawareonline.com Dec 18, 2017 by Meredith Newman, “Delaware doctors, hospitals increase security as medical data breaches continue nationwide” said that the Delaware Health Information Network “…recently hired a privacy and security compliance manager whose sole job is to monitor the safety of patient data and address any concerns that might come up.” The story also reported that there is insurance medical providers can purchase to cover data breaches and these policies can include prebreach and postbreach services! I understand the importance of protecting yourself against lawsuits but when you have to talk about PREBREACH coverage something seems very out of whack to me.
Encrypting of devices and using strong password protection is important to keep hackers out but the bigger issue is the loss and theft of devices. Many of these mobile computers and handheld devices are being taken home and leaving the security of the building. Use dedicated devices that are held in the building and protect them with a Bug Tag. It might be a bit inconvenient to have to check a device in and out at the beginning and end of the day but the risk of leaving it where it could be stolen is a bigger concern. Many of the HIPPA violations involving data breaches that are reported to the Department of Health and Human Services are caused by computers that have been stolen from cars or homes when taken home. Wouldn’t it make more sense to keep them in a building and protected with anti-theft devices?
Medical computer tablet theft and iPad theft are happening on a regular basis. As more and more healthcare providers become reliant on electronic resources and digital documentation it is important that patient information is a priority. Use all of the security resources that are available to you and that includes securing the devices you rely on to do your work. Use the Bug Tag and stop criminals before they can spirit a device out of your building.
Get more information on a Bug Tag, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today.