Healthcare- Healthcare Security Boom 

 

Security expected to Boom in the Healthcare Market

According to a new report issued this week by market research firm Frost and Sullivan, the healthcare industry is expected to see large growth over the next few years. This is due in large part to rules and compliance regulations that are being placed on the healthcare industry by the government.

 

It is being anticipated that by 2014 that the market will reach $5.78 billion whereas right now the revenues in 2007 were $1.66 billion this according to “World Healthcare Security Markets”. That would amount to a 250 percent increase.

 

According to Frost and Sullivan Research Analyst Santosh Antony, he believes one of the emerging trends in the healthcare sector is an increase in the number of integrated security systems being sought by the healthcare market.


"Use of security applications within the healthcare industry is largely driven by compliance requirements," notes Antony. "Taking into account the increasing pressure from government bodies, healthcare security is becoming a matter of compulsion rather than choice."


The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is perhaps the strongest driver for logical healthcare security and influences physical healthcare security. HIPAA compliance deadline for most healthcare entities in North America was in May of 2007. Now, noncompliance carries the risk of fines, penalties, litigations, and sometimes even criminal prosecution in extreme cases.


In addition to the HIPAA, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) lays emphasis on maintenance of a number of aspects of security such as access control, infant protection, employee/patient identification, and a written Security Management Plan. Hospitals aggressively seek out JCAHO's accreditation because accreditation is required in order to receive Medicare certification and insurance settlement.


However, the biggest challenge for security vendors will likely come from the employees in healthcare organizations who consider extensive physical and logical security checks as a hindrance to their normal functioning.


"Ensuring patient health record safety requires doctors to constantly key in passwords at common workstations, and is often repeated 40-50 times over a few hours," explains Antony. "Doctors, who generally have the final say in most administrative changes, certainly do not appreciate such delays as they can prove lethal."


Given these challenges, security vendors will need to position their products as convenient and less time consuming. It remains crucial to utilize the latest advances in technology to stay ahead of competition. Identity and Access Management vendors have revolutionized the market with the 'One Sign' technology, which enables workstations to switch users in a matter of a few seconds by using biometrics technology.


Other technologies that could see growth in the healthcare industry are network security and asset tracking solutions to prevent hackers from gaining personal data.

 

As far as the future of the healthcare security market is concerned Antony said he believes that its important for dealers and integrators to educate the healthcare sector about the threats they face and push them to improve their security standards beyond just what is required by the government and adopt the technological advances in security instead of viewing them as a hindrance.