3 Healthcare Risks Putting Your Organization in Jeopardy
As of late 2021, one-third of clinical healthcare providers had quit their jobs. That’s nearly double the rate from 2019. To retain their valuable employees, providers looked toward monetary incentives, increasing pay rates for nurses by a nationwide average of 12%.
Ongoing labor shortages are only one of the issues affecting this sector. In the two years since the onset of the pandemic, healthcare organizations have had to pivot how they operate in response to new challenges.
Today, we’re reviewing three emerging risks that are reshaping the industry and shifting its focus. Identifying these hazards in your own organization can help you stay diligent and keep liabilities low.
Implementing New Technology
Over the past few years, technology has transformed how healthcare employees do their jobs. From telemedicine and wearable devices to remote patient monitoring and artificial intelligence, key innovations have improved the patient experience and made life easier for physicians and office staff.
The impetus is on healthcare organizations to research and implement the systems that are best suited to meet their needs. While these projects come with their own associated costs, they’re necessary to keep pace and stay competitive within the fast-moving industry.
Increasingly, they’re also required to ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations. For example, practitioners are held to strict standards issued by regulatory bodies like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
These standards help protect sensitive patient information, and they require medical offices to follow rigorous procedures to ensure data safety. If teams are still working with old or outdated computer systems, they could fall behind on their compliance efforts.
Still, some organizations are hesitant to move forward with new technology, for several reasons. These include:
- Uncertainty around the technology or how it will affect their current workflows
- Reluctance over changing existing systems and processes
- Believing that new systems have to be costly or complicated
- Uncertainty around how much value new technology will deliver
- Concern over the safety or efficacy of new technology
While these are valid concerns, they shouldn’t keep your healthcare organization from embracing tools that could help your teams unlock new efficiencies and add patient value. When assessing new technologies, look for solutions that simplify manual efforts and improve transparency throughout your organization. The XenonChex app is one of them, with features designed to automate and organize:
- Task scheduling
- Custom form creation
- Document management
- Forecasting and reporting
You shouldn’t have to overhaul your existing processes to make the best use of new technology at your healthcare organization. However, sticking with the status quo and not embracing these tools could put your practice behind in quality, reputation, and compliance.
Ensuring Staff and Patient Safety
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in 25 U.S. hospital patients is diagnosed each year with at least one infection related to their hospital care. In addition, more infections occur across other healthcare settings.
Healthcare-associated infections (HIAs) can be spread from one facility to another, complicating the continuum of care. However, experts explain that simply implementing existing prevention procedures can help curb their rate of occurrence by 70%. In addition to improving patient care, these practices also save facilities a collective $25 billion to $35.1 billion annually.
To facilitate these solutions, healthcare organizations should take the following actions:
- Ensure all of their sanitation systems are up-to-date and operational
- Ensure all staff members know how to properly use the sanitation systems to protect patients
- Remind staff and visitors about basic safety techniques to control infection
Once you establish these policies and procedures, make sure to store them in a way that’s accessible to all of your team members. Our Drive feature helps you attach how-to guides and detailed, step-by-step instructions to individual tasks, so everyone always knows what to do.
Data Security and Privacy
Another risk facing healthcare organizations today is the potential for data breaches and cyberattacks. Data breaches in this sector reached an all-time high in 2021, exposing the sensitive and confidential data of 45 million individuals.
This year, the risk continues to be a chief concern. From ransomware to credential harvesting and device theft, this industry is a prime target for attackers, who can monetize patient health information (PHI) and sell it on the Dark Web. In some cases, they can hold entire organizations ransom, rendering them unable to deliver critical patient care.
Some of the biggest obstacles facing practices as they seek to ramp up their approach to cybersecurity include:
- Telemedicine applications that extend patient care but also send sensitive data across mobile applications, which often lack extensive security
- Telemedicine patients who don’t understand essential security steps, such as avoiding public Wi-Fi and using multi-factor authentication, inadvertently exposing their own PHI
- Lack of interoperability among Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems and other facility systems
- Vulnerabilities within unmanaged IoT devices, which expand a facility’s attack surface and lack integrated security controls
It’s imperative to establish strict cybersecurity protocols and data access policies, but don’t stop at your in-office teams. Also vet any third-party vendors that have access to your data networks. As long as your organization continues to handle vulnerable data, it could be a target for this kind of unscrupulous activity, so it’s important to stay on your guard.
Mitigate Your Healthcare Risks and Optimize Operations
These are only a few of the risks that healthcare organizations face on a daily basis. With the right steps and systems in place, you can help fortify your practice from the inside out.
Our platform is designed to help you simplify and streamline the day-to-day tasks that keep your company running. When these back-office activities are easier and more automated, it frees up your teams to focus on mission-critical matters, including risk management initiatives.
Contact us today to learn more and schedule a demo!