As many recent data breaches have clearly indicated, the average company's security and compliance performance is contingent upon the entirety of its staff, meaning that even one chink in the armor can lead to disastrous consequences. Take, for example, the Target breach, which was traced back to poor credential management used at one of the HVAC vendors it had on retainer for facilities management needs.

At the end of the day, health care providers are likely the most at risk of seeing a major compliance issue lead to increased vulnerabilities, threats and security risks. In the age of digital patient records management and communications, the various requirements of the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act must be followed accurately and by every individual in the business to truly protect against fines, sanctions and other financial threats.

The BYOD question

One of the later advances in health care computing and communications strategies has been BYOD, which can quickly complicate HIPAA compliance audits and adherence. DOTMed News recently reported that nurses are often standing at the front lines of BYOD security and HIPAA compliance strategies, while the programs have likewise improved these professionals' abilities to manage medical information on the go.

Still, the source pointed out that companies will need to be especially careful when transmitting patient records, covered by HIPAA, through new devices.

"The BYOD phenomenon represents one of the greatest challenges for IT and administrative health care professionals because it's both a technical and behavioral challenge that can impact future technological developments," Kurt Linberg, Ph.D., provost at American Sentinel University, explained, according to the news provider. "If we look at health care history, new regulations tend to constrain productivity initially, but then as regulations, policy and technology improve there is more room for innovation implementation."

DOTMed News noted that all types of transmissions, even those going from a device to a printer, will need to be kept in check to maintain compliance.

HIPAA email made easy

Health care organizations can partner with HIPAA email service providers to ensure those transmissions going through smartphones and tablets, as well as traditional devices, are safe, private and compliant with the law. By deploying these solutions proactively ahead of a new enterprise mobility strategy, companies will often enjoy a smoother step into the modern era of health care computing and data management.