The importance of data privacy in healthcare really can’t be overstated. Trust is one of the foundations of the entire healthcare system, and when a person divulges private health information (PHI), they have the expectation that the data will remain safe and secure. This type of information can include:
- Name & Address
- Birthdate & Social Security Number
- Type of medical services provided
- Medication prescribed
- Family medical history
- Psychological or medical conditions
In order to ensure that a person’s private health information remains just that—private—there is an established set of rules and regulations outlined in HIPAA, which govern how that data is handled. These rules detail everything from training procedures to the software used to organize and transmit private information.
Unfortunately, data privacy breaches can and do happen due to email hacks, server hacks, unauthorized disclosures, or even theft. In many instances, the occurrence leads to fines and other penalties. In this article, we’ll look more closely at the importance of data security in healthcare and the many benefits of implementing data privacy:
Why Data Security for Healthcare is Essential
Protecting patient privacy is paramount in healthcare, particularly as digital technologies, cloud-based computing, and AI continues to transform the industry. With nearly everything now connected digitally, data security for healthcare has become of utmost importance for various entities, including those needing employee and occupational health compliance.
Whether you’re thinking of the present day or planning for the future, there are several crucial benefits to investing in healthcare data privacy.
It’s been proven that high personnel trust can be positively correlated to better healthcare outcomes. If someone believes their private health information is not adequately protected, it creates a breach in that trust, meaning that the employee may not adhere as easily to company compliance policy or take advantage of the resources you provide.
As crucial as personnel trust is, healthcare organizations are particularly responsible for the well-being of their staff and patients. When a data security issue has breached faith in a healthcare organization, it could directly lead to a person not receiving the correct type of healthcare at a critical moment.
Avoiding Non-Compliance Penalties and Violations
Failure to protect private health information adequately can cost a healthcare entity more than the trust and endangerment of patient safety. Running afoul of HIPAA regulations, which are constantly updated to address healthcare data privacy threats, can expose a healthcare entity to heavy fines and penalties.
Implementing Data Security in Healthcare
Dealing with the risk of data privacy breaches and staying HIPAA compliant can seem stressful. Still, thankfully there are plenty of helpful tools out there to help healthcare entities ensure security and compliance.
- Admin Controls – make sure only the right people access the data
- Education – train employees handling sensitive data about the importance of data privacy in healthcare
- Response Plan – consider all possibilities in case of a data breach
- Encrypt Data – enhance your data security by encrypting it
- Trusted Software – stay compliant with a secure employee and occupational health system
As we’ve laid out above, data security for healthcare is of utmost importance. The ability to protect private health information is essential for building trust, ensuring safety, and remaining HIPAA compliant. Although these regulations are constantly shifting in the rapidly technologized healthcare industry, there are several tools to help protect data privacy both now and in the future.
If you’re looking for more information or have any questions about tracking software for occupational and employee health compliance, reach out to the staff at Immuware to request a free demo today.