Report: 72 Percent of Healthcare Employees Are Security "Risks" or Security "Novices" | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Report: 72 Percent of Healthcare Employees Are Security "Risks" or Security "Novices"

April 5, 2017
by Heather Landi
| Reprints

Only 28 percent of healthcare employees demonstrated the privacy and security awareness to prevent incidents that could lead to the exposure of protected health information (PHI) and other forms of personal data, according to a recent MediaPro survey.

And, as a snapshot of the current state of security and privacy awareness, healthcare employees still demonstrate more security and privacy know-how compared to the general employee population. The survey found that healthcare employees are still twice as likely to have the security and privacy know-how to protect against preventable threats compared with the general employee population, as only 12 percent of the general population demonstrated the same level of awareness.

For the report, MediaPro polled 850 healthcare employees across the U.S. and found that 18 percent were considered risks, meaning their lack of awareness could put their organization in jeopardy of a potentially serious privacy or security incident. Further, more than half of healthcare employees (54 percent) are considered security "novices." In total, 72 percent of healthcare employees are either risks or novices, showing a lack of basic awareness of privacy and security awareness best practices in the eight surveyed risk areas. And, as mentioned above, 28 percent of healthcare employees are considered security "heroes," or are highly risk-aware.

Survey respondents were polled in several different risk areas and the average score of a risk-aware employee is 93.5 percent.

In each risk area, these were the average scores:

Incident reporting – 80 percent

Identifying personal information – 82 percent

Access controls – 85 percent

Preventing phishing – 90 percent

Malware warning signs – 86 percent

Working remotely – 83 percent

Cloud computing – 85 percent

Acceptable use of social media – 85 percent

According to the report, 89 percent of healthcare organizations have experienced a data breach involving patient data in the past two years and the report authors note that “while it is impressive that healthcare employees are seemingly more risk aware compared with the general employee population, it’s important to note that 72 percent of healthcare employees are considered either a security risk or security novice, illustrating a clear need for improved education and awareness.”

According to the report authors, the survey results align with broader analysis of the healthcare industry that shows IT investment as it relates to cybersecurity strategy and employee awareness training are driven largely by HIPAA compliance, as opposed to business risk mitigation.

The survey results highlight that it’s time for healthcare organizations to move beyond mere HIPAA compliance training, according to the report, and as employees are the last safeguard against data breaches, fines and reputational damage, a well-thought-out and expertly sourced approach to employee awareness education should be a top priority.

 

 

 

 

Get the latest information on Cybersecurity and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

Senate Republicans Release Draft of Health Care Bill

On Thursday, Senate Republican leaders, who have promised to repeal former President Barack Obama’s healthcare legislation for seven years, moved forward on that goal with the release of a draft of their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which they expect to vote on next week.

Vermont HIE Implements IT Solution for Improved Data Quality

Vermont Information Technology Leaders (VITL), the operator of the Vermont Health Information Exchange, has announced the implementation of a data managing and synthesizing platform in an effort to expand its IT capabilities.

Survey: 75 Percent of CIOs Concerned About Incomplete, Inaccurate Medication Data

Despite multidisciplinary efforts to improve medication reconciliation, hospital CIOs still report unsatisfactory results, with three out of four concerned that their organization’s medication history data is incomplete or inaccurate, according to a new survey conducted by the CHIME Foundation.

Michigan Plans to Link State PDMP with Provider EHRs

The State of Michigan is directly adding the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS) into the electronic health records (EHRs) and pharmacy management systems of hospitals, physician groups and pharmacies across the state.

Teladoc to Acquire Medical Consultation Company in $440M Deal

Telehealth company Teladoc has announced that it has acquired medical consultation firm Best Doctors for a deal totaling $440 million in cash and stock.

Study: Digital Health Coaching App Improves Weight Loss, Blood Pressure Management

A digital health app and 1-to-1 coaching platform can help patients lose weight and reduce blood pressure, according to a new study published in the June issue of the Journal of Medical Internet Research.