Tablet use is growing at hospitals, increasing the need for improved health IT security

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A new study from eFax, an online fax service and a brand of j2 Global, revealed that 27 percent of 1,500 responding healthcare companies stated adopting mobile solutions is their No. 1 technology priority for 2014. Integrating tablets and smart devices into hospitals has become increasingly important as the Affordable Care Act is forcing doctors and nurses to see more patients. Keeping this in mind, improving the tools and processes necessary for sharing information and securing patient data has never been more important.

"The Affordable Care Act is forcing healthcare providers to re-examine all of their processes for sensitive-document management, storage and transfer," said Rick Stevens, director of enterprise marketing for eFax.

Provide a safe environment for tablet use
Upgrading technology at hospitals will enable physicians to get patients in and out the door in a quick, efficient manner without decreasing the quality of care. However, healthcare centers must ensure that patient data and other important pieces of information, such as hospital inventory management records, cannot be compromised.

With 46 percent of respondents already launching the use of company-sponsored tablets among employees, it's more critical than ever to create a secure infrastructure where information can be stored. Failing to do this can make it easy for healthcare organizations to fall out of compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

"Regardless of cause, the high cost of violations will be a painful reality for healthcare concerns of all sizes, and even higher for avoidable violations," said Ross Leo, HIPAA compliance specialist and instructor at Training-HIPAA.net. "With an increasingly mobile workforce relying on tablets and mobile devices to stay connected, document management and compliance will be top priorities in 2014."

File sharing is more important in today's hospitals
Tablets are playing a role in many hospitals by enabling doctors and nurses to share information with one another. An enterprise file-transferring solution must be HIPAA-compliant and easy to use for physicians. However, these aren't easy to find for many hospital CIOs.

In fact, IT professional Bill Kleyman wrote in an article for HealthITSecurity.com that the demand for file-sharing technologies continues to persist as the need grows in the healthcare industry. Because of the lack of a trusted system, healthcare centers may have to look at both on-premise and off-premise solutions to ensure that their file transferring can be carried out safely and efficiently.