Next week, I’ll be heading out to Las Vegas to attend HIMSS18. While packing my bags, I started thinking about all of the giant, glittering casinos that inhabit the Vegas strip. I’m not a gambler, but casinos pique my interest because of the impressive security they maintain 24/7 to protect the billions of dollars that flow in and out of their doors each year. So that got me thinking – what can the healthcare industry learn from casino security?
You’re probably familiar with some of the ways casinos keep a close eye on money, such as the hundreds of cameras that surveil the gaming floor or the not-so-conspicuous pit bosses that watch over every table. However, one of the most important pieces of casino security are the chips that are given to patrons to play table games.
If you’ve never been to a casino before, here’s how chips work: I want to play blackjack, so I sit down at a table and give the dealer cash in exchange for chips, which I then use to bet on each of the blackjack hands I am dealt. These chips represent the money I exchanged for them, but the chips themselves have no monetary value at all. If I were to leave the casino with chips in my pocket, I would not be able to purchase anything with them, even though they represent money. I wouldn’t even be able to gamble at another casino with chips from a different casino – I can only use them at the casino where I exchanged money for them. Chips help casinos keep track of the money that is being exchanged and help deter theft.
Healthcare can leverage a sort of casino chip to help protect patient payments: it’s called tokenization. In healthcare, when a payment card enters a secure payment application with tokenization, the card information gets converted to something like a casino chip – or, token – that is associated with your organization only. This does not necessarily prevent data theft, but it does prevent someone from using the stolen token to pay for something else. The token has no value outside of the payment transaction it was being used for because it is exclusively associated with a healthcare provider’s merchant ID.
One way that healthcare organizations can use tokenization is to enhance the security and convenience of their online patient payment experience. With tokenization, patients can securely save payment methods on file within a healthcare organization’s patient portal and use those payment methods again in the future for recurring payments, like payment plans. In fact, tokenization is key to automating the payment process to simplify the consumer experience and help providers achieve payment assurance.
InstaMed has built a special kind of tokenization exclusively for healthcare. The InstaMed Secure Token enables healthcare organizations to deliver a seamless and secure online consumer payment experience within their existing portals with cardholder data never touching their servers. As a result, consumers can make one-time payments and also have full access to a digital wallet for future or recurring payments while using any device. Likewise, healthcare organizations significantly reduce their PCI compliance efforts and ensure that cardholder data is protected.
Are you going to HIMSS18? Stop by booth #5062 to meet me and a bunch of others from the InstaMed team. We can talk more about the InstaMed Secure Token and other ways to improve payment security at your healthcare organization.