Research by the Open State Foundation has shown that about two out of three websites of Dutch healthcare institutions and pharmacies do not provide their website visitors with a secure connection (in the form of an SSL certificate).
What does this entail and what measures could healthcare organizations take?
Ensure your visitors’ security
An SSL certificate assures website visitors that unauthorized persons will not be able to see what happens on the website. This is mainly important when visitors can use an online form to send in information, as is the case with contact forms or registration forms.
What is going wrong
The data collected by the Open State Foundation shows that mainly mental healthcare, obstetrics, home care and physiotherapy score badly when it comes to providing secure connections on their websites. This might lead to personal data falling into the wrong hands. If healthcare organizations do not take measures to avoid this, they are violating the law.
Wilbert Tomesen, vice president of the Authority of Personal Data, has stated that is altogether possible that fines will be imposed.
All in all it is good that organizations such as the Open State Foundation alert us all about the risks of unsafe connections.
Arranging an SSL certificate is important and every healthcare organization should have one for their website – both to ensure security and to ensure a high position in the search engines. Since the beginning of this year, Google has started to notify website visitors of websites without a secure connection and it has a history of taking security into account when allocating ranking.
Webcare button instead of online forms
In this scenario, one could also consider using tools such as our secure webcare button. Using this button, website visitors can contact healthcare organizations easily ànd securely, for things like making an appointment or requesting medication refills.
Everything that is communicated using the webcare button (from initital contact, where one is asked to provide his / her name and email address, to the conversation in the secure environment of our messenger) is transfered over an encrypted SSL connection and encrypted when it is stored – no matter if the website on which this button has been placed has a secure connection or not.
As soon as the website visitor has made contact with the healthcare organization, they can exchange messages and files and, if there is a need for it, they can even start an e-consultation using the video chat functionality.
Such a flow would look something like this:
Do you wish to know more about the possibilities of our webcare button? Do not hesitate to contact us, we’d love to tell you all about it.