AHA and AMA Issues Joint Cybersecurity Guidance for Telecommuting Doctors

The American Hospital Association (AHA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) have created joint cybersecurity guidance for doctors working from home because of the COVID-19 outbreak to help them keep their mobile devices, computers, and home networks secure and offer patients safe remote care.

Doctors can utilize their mobile gadgets to access the medical records of patients over the web just like they were in the clinic. They can use teleconferencing solutions to do virtual visits, using audio, video and text messages to check and treat patients. However, working from home presents risks that could endanger patient data privacy and security.

The AMA/AHA guidance is meant to help doctors secure their computers and network at home and keep patient data and their work environment protected from cyber threats including malware and ransomware that could negatively affect patent safety and health. It provides essential steps to help make sure that a home office is tough against viruses, malware and cybercriminals.

The guidance consists of a checklist for computer systems, which details a number of steps that ought to be taken to reinforce security and minimize vulnerability to threats like phishing, ransomware and malware. The guidance additionally gives a collection of best practices to adopt, including using multi-factor authentication, account lockout feature, more verbal authentication processes, and consistently backing up records.

The AMA and AHA advise the usage of virtual private networks (VPNs) whenever accessing EHRs and other information databases. Physicians need to communicate with their EHR vendors to get advice on using VPNs and web-based technologies to enhance security.

The guidance additionally addresses mobile device and tablet security and offers a comparable checklist for keeping those devices secure. The AMA and AHA advise doctors to use apps on mobile gadgets and tablets to connect to the office to secure medicines and tests. Applications like TigerTouch may also be employed on these gadgets to enable doctors to offer telemedicine assistance to patients. These applications also wholly integrate with EHRs.

Besides securing devices, physicians should take steps to reinforce the security of their home networks. Vulnerable home networks can be exploited and any device that links to the network may be compromised allowing an attacker to access patient information. The guidance additionally details how to use medical equipment and determine and minimize cyber threats.

To view the guidance on working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, go to this page.