Healthcare is at a crossroads. The pandemic has driven home the benefits of a connected ecosystem where patients can access their health records wherever they choose to seek care, including virtually. At the same time, this increased connectivity increases the landscape for potential cyber-crime, which is already at an all-time high given increased attention on the industry, remote work arrangements, and an unpredictable supply chain.
In this thought leadership paper from KPMG healthcare and cybersecurity professionals – Care anywhere, security everywhere -- we go into detail on the solution to this problem: robust identity access management (IAM). While payers have been a bit quicker to adopt advanced IAM solutions, hospitals, health systems, physicians’ offices, and retail care need to up their IAM game if they want to continue sharing patient information across institutional boundaries in the name of improved outcomes and patient satisfaction.
In addition to highlighting the efforts of one of the nation’s largest healthcare payers to institute a secure cloud-based portal for health insurance customers, we detail the technical considerations involved in creating connected healthcare solutions with robust IAM. Adopting these technology practices will allow healthcare organizations to:
- Orchestrate a better customer experience by creating a single portal backed by a robust IAM system that brings together all vertical capabilities and data sources in the background.
- Improve outcomes by using an IAM platform and application program interfaces to integrate identity into every part of a patient’s journey.
- Protect patient privacy by using IAM solutions during controlled data-sharing between patients and healthcare providers, particularly when patients use Internet of Things (IoT) devices and wearables to share sensitive health data.
- Streamline clinical workflows by ensuring that trusted entities manage processes and systems amid an evolving ecosystem that comprises value-based care models, an increasingly decentralized workforce, and anytime, anywhere care.
The reality is, in 2021 the healthcare industry sustained cyber-breaches that put more than 40 million patient records at risk and cost more than $6 trillion dollars. Stemming this tide will depend on ensuring that cybersecurity protocols address all potential attack vectors. And, since most breaches result from human error, identity access management should be at the center of any forward-reaching healthcare organizations’ cybersecurity efforts.