Medical Practices Must Protect Against Cyberattacks: 4 Tips for Your Office

Big publicised cyberattacks may make the headlines, but in fact, simple human error accounts for more data breaches in the health sector than any shadowy figures. At Tego, as medical practice insurance providers, we have a few suggestions to protect your medical practice.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) reported the highest number of incidents, around 20% of all breaches, were in the healthcare sector. “Of the breaches involving health service providers, more than half were due to human error.” For more information, please review the OAIC report.

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Here are a few simple steps you can take to help reduce the risk of a breach:

  • Always check before you press send
    • It is true that a common error for health practitioners is sending out private information to the wrong recipient.  Yes, this causes lots of problems, it is an easy error to make. That is why checking before you press send is imperative.
  • Don’t trust the autocorrect
    • Autotext is perilous in both email programs and word processing software.  Again, this is related to sending private information to incorrect addresses. It also leads to private information that are found in referral letters and reports being sent to the wrong provider.
  • Don’t lose sight of your unlocked device
    • The report reveals that phones that have no password protection or are left unlocked or computers that are logged on and unattended are a major source of data breach.
    • You can prevent losing important patient data by checking the security settings on your phone, office computers, etc.
  • Don’t keep too many windows open on your office computers
    • We all love having multiple windows open on our computer, but there have been reported cases of medication errors occurring as well as the wrong patient information being inserted into pathology requests and referrals.

Medical indemnity insurance

Medical Indemnity Insurance is required for all medical practitioners in Australia. This insurance covers a range of exposures from complaints, medical audits, employment disputes and civil claims.  While insurance may not be mandatory for the actual medical practice, practices face risks that may not be covered by a practitioners’ individual indemnity insurance.

In conclusion

For over a year, it has been a legal requirement for entities to carry out an assessment whenever they suspect that there may have been disclosure of personal information that they hold. It is imperative that practices be proactive and ensure strong cyber security measures are in place, to identify, respond and mitigate in the event of a breach.

Tego offer medical indemnity insurance for medical practitioners. We have a profound understanding of the Australian medical profession and the ever-changing healthcare industry. It’s this expertise that allows us to provide leading cover with more choice, innovation and greater flexibility.

 All content on this page has been written in a generic way, and has not been presented with any knowledge of your personal objectives or financial needs.

This publication is general in nature and is not comprehensive or constitute legal or medical advice. You should seek legal, medical or other professional advice before relying on any content, and practice proper clinical decision making with regard to individual circumstances. Persons implementing any recommendations contained in this publication must exercise their own independent skill or judgment or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular practice. Compliance with any recommendations will not in any way guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional or practice. Tego Insurance Pty Ltd is not responsible to you or anyone else for any loss su­ffered in connection with the use of this information.