The Canadian population is ageing: by 2031, one in four people in B.C. will be over the age of 65. That translates to more than 1.3 million people. Care homes need to start positioning themselves now to handle the significant increase in the clientele by investing in infrastructure that will allow them to meet the growing demand for their services and facilities.
The Link Between Personal Health Information (PHI) And Liability
One of the most significant challenges that care homes currently face is managing the confidential personal health information (PHI) of their elderly clients. The government has precise laws, regulations and requirements about how care facilities handle PHI.
With the federal implementation of PIPA in 2018, individuals may complain to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC). The OIPC has several powers, including compelling testimony, ordering evidence and issue binding orders to organizations. There are various offences under PIPA, and organizations can face fines up to $100,000.
Sensitive and confidential PHI is required for business operations, and few people working in care facilities intend to disclose this information to third parties without the consent of clients. However, good intentions and reasonably foreseeable threats are not the same things.
Reasonable Security Measures
When determining if an organization is liable for a data breach, one consideration is whether an organization failed to implement reasonable security measures.
What this means for managers and business leaders working in elder care, is that cybersecurity must be seen as an organizational risk with an associated liability. Furthermore, what the law considers “reasonably safety measures” is likely to evolve to encompass more sophisticated measures of data protection.
Scout is a Managed Technology Provider with technical expertise and a specialty in serving senior care facilities. Scout works with some of the most respected senior care homes in BC’s lower mainland to collaboratively offer technology solutions. We have the technical and industry expertise to know what constitutes “reasonable safety measures,” and “best in class safety measures”.
As a technology partner, Scout can help protect your business and ensure your data protection practices are prepared to handle the ever-evolving threats. It is the expertise that care homes gain in their partnership with Scout that helps produce the real benefit – peace of mind.
Ron Pike, Executive Director of Elim Village says:
“Scout has worked with us to align the sophistication of our technology with Elim’s quality standards. Now we’re incorporating industry best practices into our IT security that increases the privacy of our resident’s personal data.”
The Risk Of Being The “Data Owner”
When discussing liability, there is a clear potential liability for data owners (care homes) if the breach involves a cyber attack in a traditional data owner’s proprietary network and data center.
Put simply: as a care home, you’re vulnerable.
Due to the nature of the business, you “own” sensitive personal information. Personal health information sits on the hard drives in your premise (or in the cloud) in ever-increasing volumes. It only takes one employee to open on phishing email, unintentionally expose login information and let one hacker in. Because this breach occurs within your business proprietary network or cloud accounts, your liability increases.
On the most basic level, Scout is the first point of contact for IT support for the care home. On a deeper level, Scout handles all layers of IT security, strategy and infrastructure. By partnering with a company like Scout, care homes can ensure they are keeping data secure, complying with PIPA and other governmental requirements, and staying ahead of cyber attacks.
Using Technology to Help Senior Homes Deliver Better Care
Scout partners with senior care homes to meet their general IT needs and co-create more specialized technology solutions. Our partnerships with several care homes in BC have given us diverse exposure to the leading care management platforms: PointClickCare, MED e-care, Goldcare and Yardi EHR.
Our deep expertise in technology and our familiarity with care management platforms means Scout is uniquely able to work with senior care homes to deliver better care. In our partnership with Foyer Maillard, for example, we were able to help the care home implement a medical grade tablet wall mount solution for their PointClickCare system, improving both quality of care, and efficiency.
Matt notes, “Part of what makes Scout unique is that we understand the technology business needs of care homes in BC. As technology continues to offer more advanced and accessible care solutions, retirement and care homes will implement them at an increasing rate to create a more efficient and profitable business.”
What it comes down to is this: Scout offers care homes a scalable technology solution. If you are a single retirement care home looking to scale into a chain and need a single IT solution, or if your focus is to create an integrated IT system, Scout can help.
If you are interested in learning what Scout can do for your care home, reach out to Matt today for a conversation. Begin your exploration now.