Importance of SSL Certificates for Healthcare Websites

Healthcare facilities are the custodians to a vast amount of private data. Before booking an appointment, some facilities require you to fill in your details in the patient forms. If the website is insecure, there’s a high possibility of your data landing in the wrong hands. That includes your credit card details, social security numbers, and your health issue.

In the past when most patient’s database were offline, it was easy to honor the patient-doctor confidentiality. In the digital age, the patient’s data is at risk if the healthcare fails to use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) for their websites.

Having an SSL certificate for a healthcare website is so critical because it determines the number of clients that find you through the organic search. If your site is unsecured, patients will not book appointments with you for fear of their data exposure. Here are some of the benefits of SSL for healthcare websites.

5 Reasons why Healthcare Websites Need SSL Encryption

  1. To Be HIPAA Compliant

A patient’s medical information is susceptible and must remain under protection at all times. Because of the increase in convenience of internet operations, medical facilities have a patient portal that allows the patients to fill in their information. Besides, the e-forms contain the patient’s medical records among other private data.

 Health facilities have to adhere to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to keep such information secure and safe. Acquiring an SSL certificate is one of the most efficient means of keeping the healthcare facility’s website secure and adhering to the federal law of keeping patient’s information private. 

2. To increase Trust

A secure website is trustworthy especially if you need to make a purchase and have to fill in credit card details or other personal information. Google is vigilant in exposing the non-secure website by showing an open padlock. When that happens, you’ll be hesitant to share personal information on such a site.

On the other hand, an SSL secured website gives various cues to show that the information shared is safe and there’s no risk of phishing. The website has a green padlock indicating that the information you choose to share with the site is safe from third party interception. The site’s address also starts with ‘https’ instead of ‘http.’ Such assurance increases the patient’s trust on a healthcare’s website, and it’s likely to make a hesitant potential client make up their mind to take up the services immediately.

3. To Encrypt Sensitive Information

When sharing the information from a computer, it should be invisible to everyone else except for the host’s recipient’s computer. This keeps sensitive data from identity thieves, hackers, and other internet fraudsters. A patient’s medical information is very sensitive, and the healthcare website must ensure that the host is providing more than the primary security.

Having an SSL  keeps the patient’s data from leaking thus maintaining the client’s confidentiality. Appointment request forms and other types of patient forms must always be encrypted. Non-encrypted information is accessible from other computers within the network. The passwords, credit card numbers and additional verification information is entirely exposed without SSL.

4. For Authentication

When a site is unsecured, you may not be sure if you’re sharing your information with the health facility’s servers or an impostor. SSL makes it impossible for the third party to imitate your site and steal data shared by innocent patients.

SSL certificates such as the EV SSL certificates carry out several verification procedures to ensure that your site’s identity stays safe from compromising will not be compromised. Different SSLs have diverse requirements when validating the sites and thus are valued differently.

When running a hospital, your patients should be assured that they’re communicating with the right servers. Choose the SSL certificates with the highest security measures for proper authenticity.

Are There Disadvantages of using SSL for Healthcare Websites?

There’s always the reverse side of everything even when they seem vital for every day’s living. SSL is essential for all medical websites that are looking to increase their clientele through organic searches. It not only keeps the patient’s data safe, but it also keeps the hospital’s private information secure.

However, there are a few things that a medical practitioner should be aware of before engaging an SSL provider.

Cost: The SSL providers must validate your identity before giving an SSL certificate. The process of verification is pricey, and you must consider the financing before engaging one of the providers. Fortunately, there’s a lot of competition in the market which will cause the prices to lower over time.

What You Need To Do: Get the right SSL provider who is within your budget. Investing in a secured website will pay off eventually as you increase the number of clients’ through organic searches and SEO.

Performance: Busy health care facilities may notice a slow performance on their website because it takes longer to transmit an encrypted text over plain text.  Since every single client’s entry must be encrypted in the server, having many entries at the same, consume a lot of server resources leading to a lower output than usual.

You can increase the performance of your website during the busy peak times when you install additional types of hardware to ease congestion on the existing servers.

The advantages of having an SSL website far outweigh the disadvantages of one. As a health facility, you cannot make it an option to have an SSL website your client’s data may land in the wrong hands, and that would ruin your business and reputation for good.

Conclusion

The little green padlock makes a lot of difference between failure and success for a medical practitioner. Appearing among the first websites on Google search will increase the number of conversions generated from organic searches. Unfortunately, without the SSL certificate, your healthcare website will always lag behind other better-secured healthcare facilities. Patients are likely to withdraw if they discover that you’re operating a non-secure site. It’s therefore mandatory to have a highly secure website for a medical facility.

Author: Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to editor.webposts@gmail.com.