There’s no question that portals increase patient engagement. According to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, almost eight in 10 patients appreciate the improved access to healthcare information afforded to them by self-service systems.
Unfortunately, portal systems also offer an obvious target for healthcare hackers. Within a patient portal, criminals can steal medical identity data, which is worth somewhere between 20 and 50 times as much as financial data, such as credit card numbers. They then use the stolen information to submit fraudulent claims, fill prescriptions, and resell medical equipment.
What’s more, because many healthcare organizations lack proper detection tools and some patients neglect to check their explanation of benefits (EOB) statements, health data breaches tend to go undetected longer than those in other sectors. No wonder healthcare data security incidents rose 211 percent in 2017, according to the 2018 “McAfee Labs Threats Report.”
Protecting patients’ data with technology
Patient portals engender patient engagement and loyalty, but if a data breach occurs, that loyalty is quickly lost. Besides losing patients’ trust, healthcare organizations that experience a data breach face potentially severe HIPAA penalties.
Healthcare firms can learn a great deal from how other industries have met similar security challenges without overburdening consumers. Providers can use best-in-class technologies, data and analytics systems, and their deep understanding of patient needs to manage risks and protect patient identities.
To arm providers against breaches, Experian Health offers Precise ID® with Digital Risk Score to protect portal users’ identities from their first sign-in to their last. By automating the portal signup process, it stops false enrollments at the source. Then, using multilayer verification, it provides access protection for future sessions.
Because Precise ID takes less than a second to evaluate access risks, patients don’t need to sit through loading screens. On the provider side, Precise ID satisfies the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Promoting Interoperability standards, minimizing compliance risks. At a time when one in five patients withhold information from physicians because of data breach concerns, Precise ID builds trust between patients and providers by protecting patients’ data from unauthorized access.
Giving patients the power to access their medical information through portal technology has been one of the past decade’s biggest steps forward in improving patient-provider relationships. But with that reward comes responsibility: Providers must protect portals from unauthorized access and theft of medical records. With Precise ID with Digital Risk Score, providers get the security they need, and patients get the seamless access they’ve come to expect.