Mobile Medical Devices Make Electronic Health Record Security Risky – Protect Tablets And I-Pads With Alpha Thunder Tags
According to the website HealthIT.gov, “ if medicare eligible providers, or EP’s, do not adopt and successfully demonstrate meaningful use of a certified electronic health record (EHR) by 2015, the EP’s medicare physician fee schedule amount for covered professional services will be adjusted down by 1% each year.” What this means is that the government is attempting to steer healthcare providers away from paper documentation to electronic documentation. While there are benefits to maintaining patient records in electronic form such as record sharing with patients, the ability for doctors to collaborate, viewing of scans, a host of medical apps and other resources, there are also pitfalls. Many physicians are using mobile medical devices to improve service and comply with the new electronic health record requirements. What happens in the event of a medical tablet theft or medical i-pad theft? What patient information might be compromised? The Alpha Thunder Tag can protect these devices from theft.
It is likely that you are wondering what the Alpha Thunder Tag is and how it can protect a mobile device. The tag is a small anti-theft device that is attached to a tablet or i-pad with an adhesive. The tag is equipped with electronic article surveillance (EAS) technology so if a tagged item is carried in range of an EAS antenna the antenna alarm emits a loud, annoying beep. It is also tamper protected and will alarm in the event a thief attempts to remove the tag. I do want to emphasize that the EAS capability is only useful if a medical facility will take the time to install EAS antennas at ALL points of entry. Without investing in EAS antennas, the tags will only be a visual deterrent to theft, assuming the potential thieves are bothered by the attachment on the item they want to steal.
Since I referenced the necessity for an EAS antenna system as a requirement for effectively protecting your practice from tablet theft and i-pad theft, I would like to digress for a moment and discuss this part of a system. EAS antennas come in various sizes, but if someone is concerned about the space a set would take up, rest assured it does not have to be a problem. The Checkpoint Classic N10 antenna is a compact unit that provides all the protection of a larger unit you see in a retail store. The difference is that the Classic N10 was designed for small retail stores that could not spare the room for a large system. Carrying this idea to a medical office or clinic only makes sense since you have to have room for transport devices such as wheelchairs or crutches, possibly even gurneys, to enter and exit your facility.
At this point you may still doubt the need to secure your mobile devices because, what is someone going to be able to do even if they get their hands on a tablet or i-pad? Well, according to the healthcare web site, hitconsultant.net in a November 4, 2014 article, “68% of all healthcare data breaches since 2010 are due to device theft or loss, according to the 2014 Healthcare Breach Report from Bitglass.” Why would anyone want to access patient healthcare data? Because the information can include everything a medical provider has on file for a patient, billing information, addresses, payment information, insurance policy numbers and even prescription information. The data has value on the black market and can be sold or it is used to create false insurance claims, obtain illegal prescriptions and identity theft.
Medical tablet theft and i-pad theft is not an issue to be taken lightly. Should your practice lose a device and a data breach were to occur, there can be significant fines and penalties assessed by the Department of Health and Human Services. Investing in Alpha Thunder Tags and a Classic N10 antenna system can provide the security you need to protect your mobile devices and your patient’s information.
Get more information on Alpha Thunder Tag, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547 today.