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Could Your Employees Unknowingly Cause Hospital Security Risks?

June 8, 2018 | by Brian Shoenfeld

hospital security risksIn February 2017, a hospital employee in San Antonio, Texas, was accused of stealing more than $400,000 worth of medical supplies from the hospital facility where he worked.

When presented with the security footage of his activity, which stretched out over a period of six months, the employee said he stole the medical supplies because “it was easy and no one asked any questions.”

This theft is just one example of internal hospital security risks. There are other security risks that your hospital’s IT department is currently dealing with or will have to deal with, especially as new technology is implemented.

Consider the following risks to your hospital — both now and in the future — and how to find a solution to protect your facility.

Current Risks: Facilities Need To Update Point-of-Use Technology

The employee who stole $400k worth of medical supplies highlights a prominent internal risk for hospitals: the lack of security at the various access points within your facility.

Security cameras are a valuable tool in your security arsenal, but this tool is limited, as evidenced by the employee being able to take supplies over a six-month period.

Facilities need secure systems at the point-of-use location to ensure that only the appropriate supplies can be accessed with the proper credentials.

Implementing a system for who can access which equipment will allow you to create an audit trail, verify that each employee followed the correct procedure for accessing the items, and proactively identify unusual activity so that you can take the appropriate action.

Future Risks: Facilities Need to Secure Their Technology

The hospital of the future is exciting to think about for facility designers, doctors, and operators who want to implement new technology to improve patient outcomes. However, your IT department might be concerned about security risks trying to mix new technology with legacy systems.

The concern is valid considering that the healthcare industry is now the most targeted industry for cyber crimes in the world, according to a recent report by GlobalData Healthcare. Why is the healthcare industry a high target for cyber attacks?

“In many cases insufficient advances have been made to the security systems designed to protect patient data, resulting in the industry becoming an easy target for attacks.” — GlobalData Report

The same report noted that only 33 percent of hospital IT practitioners rated their facility’s cybersecurity program as “very effective.” That statistic points to a wide gap between awareness and execution of an effective security program.

Unfortunately, it also opens the door for employees to take advantage of security vulnerabilities for their own personal gain. Talon can help close the gap in your facility to reduce the risk of employee theft or cyber crimes.

Talon Solutions Help Increase the Security of Your Facility

Talon supports facilities with our MedCab line of products that include built-in technology for security purposes. Specifically, our Point-of-Use Dispensing Cabinets have options for electronic touchscreen access that is programmed through the Talon MedKey Lite Software.

Additionally, the Talon MedKey software is used in our Automated Dispensing Cabinets to support user access control, to manage your facility’s inventory control system, and to create an inventory audit trail matched to employee activity.

Talon also provides industry-leading support to guide you through the process of implementing new technology and software. As your service partner, we can help answer common questions that you might have about upgrading the technology in your facility to leverage our products:

  • How complicated is the transition process?
  • Do we need a new system to operate the software?
  • Will the new software work with our other software?
  • Will the transition expose our facility to cybersecurity risks?
  • How will system upgrades be handled in the future?

Our team would appreciate the opportunity to answer these and other questions. Contact one of our Client Solutions Representatives today to discuss how we can help address your current and future hospital security risks.


About the Author

Brian Shoenfeld

Brian joined Talon in 2014 and brought with him a proven track record for project managing, product development, and increasing operational efficiency. Using his knowledge of STEM, business prowess, and healthcare experience, Brian leads Talon’s operational improvements to create better products and improved customer service. When he’s not in the office, Brian spends time with his wife and two sons and cheers on Syracuse.