Identity Governance and Administration for the Healthcare Gig Economy
As the malpractice insurance costs increase, the healthcare industry finds itself facing a significant dilemma. The current healthcare talent gap increases patient costs, decreases the quality of care, and places a financial burden on healthcare organizations. To close this gap, more healthcare professionals and organizations embrace the “gig economy.” However, maintaining patient electronic health information (PHI) privacy and security in this gig economy leads to increased costs from HIPAA violations that undermine the reason for hiring temporary staff. To overcome this burden, the healthcare industry needs modern Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) solutions to support these new business operations.
What Is The Gig Economy in Healthcare?
The Talent Gap Is ExpandingAccording to research conducted in 2018, the healthcare industry not only struggles with a current talent gap, but the gap will continue to grow in the future. For higher-skill practitioners, role openings exceed available workers by 40%. To further complicate the situation, the research indicated that the field needs:
- 52,000 more physical therapists
- 43,000 more nurse practitioners
- 24,000 occupational therapists
- 23,000 physician assistants
Patients Want More Communication and More Control Over Their HealthMeanwhile, patients continue to adopt a consumer approach to healthcare that incorporates new technologies. According to one study, 19% of patients said the “most important” factor in choosing a physician was the use of technology. An additional 21% placed technology as the second most important factor in choosing their physician. Thus, 40% of patients consider a healthcare provider’s use of email communication, online scheduling, and mobile device use in the office a primary factor for making their consumer healthcare decisions. Patients now expect their healthcare providers to communicate with them electronically. Unfortunately, healthcare’s talent deficit often leads to patients waiting for responses which translates into poor patient satisfaction and poor outcomes as patients move to different providers.
Temporary Staffing or “Gig Economy” Enables Healthcare OrganizationsTo accommodate the skills gap and patient communications requirements, the healthcare industry has begun to embrace the gig economy. Healthcare professionals seeking flexible schedules or looking to make extra money become “traveling” practitioners. Healthcare organizations seek to minimize their inability to meet patient needs by hiring temporary practitioners to fill in gaps. As the gig economy continues to expand, healthcare organizations face EHI privacy and security concerns that can leave them facing HIPAA violation penalties.
How Does the Gig Economy Impact HIPAA Privacy Compliance?Under the HIPAA Privacy rule, healthcare organizations need to:
- Make reasonable efforts to use, disclose, and request the minimum amount of PHI necessary to accomplish the intended purpose of the use, disclosure, or request.
- Develop and implement policies and procedures to limit internal workforce member access to PHI based on roles and groups
- Determine reasonableness of covered entity requests to ensure they align with the HIPAA Privacy Rule