The use of mobile technology in the medical field has had many positive benefits. According to a MEDPAGE TODAY article dated 02/10/2014, “Hospitals Use Tablets As Extension Of EHRs”, by David Pittman,• “Hospital rounds are completed more quickly” (University of Chicago Medicine)
• “Tests can be ordered more quickly” (Vanderbilt University)
• “The University of Pittsburgh tested software that can allow doctors to jump between apps without having to reenter patient information”
• “Improvement in length of time for nurses to enter vital signs”
While the benefits continue to grow and medical centers and doctor’s offices see the advantages of using mobile technology, there are certain risks associated with the devices if they are lost or stolen. Because these portable devices tend to be small, they can be difficult to protect. The Alpha Thunder Tag has protections built in that make it the perfect choice in preventing tablet theft or laptop theft.
The Alpha Thunder Tag is attached to the back of a device using a special adhesive. To prevent unauthorized persons from removing the tag, a plunger built into the Thunder Tag will release if tampered with. An alarm will then sound and alert staff to the attempted tablet theft or device theft. There are 3 alarms that this protective device can activate. The first, we just covered, a tamper alarm to prevent removal. The second alarm will set off an Electronic Article Surveillance Antenna if an attempt to walk out through an antenna is attempted. The third alarm is in the Thunder Tag. Not only will the tag set off the antenna alarm, it has a built in alarm that will sound if someone tries to exit a building exit that is secured with an Electronic Article Surveillance Antenna.
The question then arises, why would anyone attempt to steal a mobile medical device? The quick answer is access to patient information. Hospitals, medical research centers, dentist offices, etc. all are moving to the use of this technology. Medical staff can rapidly access information that once was available only on desktop computers or paper charts and files. As patient information is accessed on mobile technology, there is the chance that data becomes vulnerable to would be hackers and that information can be valuable. There are people who will buy personal information and use it for creating false identifications or to open fraudulent accounts. Medical Laptop theft or tablet theft, could also compromise patient safety. On the website fda.gov/downloads/medicaldevices/deviceregulationandguidance/guidancedocuments “Content of Premarket Submissions for Management of Cyber Security in Medical Devices”, the following information is provided on page 2: “Failure to maintain cybersecurity can result in compromised device functionality, loss of data (medical or personal) availability or integrity, or exposure of other connected devices or networks to security threats. This in turn may have the potential to result in patient illness, injury or death.” The dangers of medical tablet theft and laptop theft could carry over from information breaches to actual potential physical harm to patients. If a tablet is attached to another device, for example a medication dispenser via an application, someone could remotely dispense the wrong medication or too much medication. The use of Alpha Thunder tags can prevent this by preventing the tablet theft in the first place.
Because devices are not very large, I include laptops since they can fit in a good sized purse or book bag, they are easy to misplace or just lay down on a countertop. In an office of any size, even one that is not very busy, if someone is not careful, a patient or office visitor can pick up a device from a shelf or desk. Should someone attempt to leave with the device that is tagged, the electronic article surveillance system or the alarm on the device, will sound and alert office personnel.
As the medical provider, you have a responsibility for the safety of client information. Don’t put your patient’s personal information or their safety at risk. Protect your office mobile devices with a proven security, the Alpha Thunder Tag.
For more information on the Alpha Thunder Tag, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547