Editorial Update: CompTIA retired its Healthcare IT exam in 2017. CompTIA A+ can help health care professionals gain the IT skills they need to protect patient data.
As healthcare providers are transitioning from paper records to electronic healthcare records (EHR), the need for tight cybersecurity has become essential. In order to prevent cybersecurity attacks, healthcare providers must have trained IT professionals with the knowledge and skills required to implement, deploy and support healthcare IT systems.
Though extreme, a recent case highlights some of the potential issues. This summer, hackers breached The Surgeons of Lake County's computer network and then held the medical data they had acquired for ransom, demanding payment for the password, according to Bloomberg News. In response to the attack, the Illinois-based healthcare provider turned their server off, refused to pay the ransom and notified authorities.
About 9 in 10 healthcare practices have taken some action toward the adoption of EHR and it is only a matter of time before some or all of their information will be digitized and they will be required to comply with new requirements, according to CompTIA's Healthcare IT Insights and Opportunities study. In addition, a recent study from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) suggests more than 7.8 million people had their medical records compromised as a result of 252 major security breaches during 2009-2010.
CompTIA recognizes the growing demand for EHR protection in the healthcare environment and has developed a certification exam with more than 20% of the material devoted to security. The CompTIA Healthcare IT Technician exam covers everything from encryption types to wireless security protocols and security best practices. The remainder of the exam includes sections on regulatory requirements, organization behavior, IT operations and medical business operations.
IT professionals who earn the CompTIA Healthcare IT Technician certification are able to use their broad understanding of cybersecurity as it relates specifically to healthcare IT systems to prevent against hackers and security breaches.