The Importance of Data Privacy
The Importance of Data Privacy in Healthcare
In recent years, data privacy has become a much bigger concern for all companies. Data privacy has become much more critical, especially for companies serving in the health sector.
Healthcare providers must ensure that they properly manage patient data to create a culture of trust and transparency with patients while meeting strict data privacy and legal regulations. Data privacy in healthcare is constantly evolving with continuously updated laws and regulations. In this way, patients get the data privacy they deserve and expect. In our article, we have listed in detail the most important data privacy regulations implemented in the healthcare industry, why these practices are important, and how data privacy can be taken to the next level.
Regulations Affecting Data Privacy in Healthcare
Data privacy laws have been updated and enacted in the United States over the past many years to establish a higher standard of data privacy across all industries. The most well-known and prominent regulation in the healthcare industry is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
HIPAA, which enacted in 1996, determines the data privacy and security requirements of PHI (Protected Health Information) or health information that should be protected. All companies dealing with PHI, including hospitals, partners and related subcontractors, must implement all security measures to ensure they are HIPAA compliant.
HIPAA is constantly updated to avoid potential data privacy threats, and healthcare organizations must stay up to date to stay compliant. To learn more about HIPAA compliance, How Do You Make Your Website HIPAA Compliant? You can read our article titled.
Why Is Data Privacy Important in Healthcare?
Today, as digitalization spreads rapidly, data breaches and cyber-attacks have become much more common and patient information has become more risky than ever before. That is why the highest standard of data privacy is of critical importance in healthcare services. Without HIPAA compliance, not only are your patients at risk of breaching law, but your company may face significant criminal charges and fines. Examples of companies that have been penalized in recent years for violations of HIPAA:
• Advocate Heath Care Network: Penalty of $5.5 million for the theft of approximately 4 million health records.
• The Feinstein Institute: A $3.9 million fine was imposed for stealing the protected health information of 13,000 research participants.
• CardioNet: $2.5 million fine for misunderstanding of HIPAA requirements resulting in potential breach of law.
It is essential to follow HIPAA updates to properly maintain patients' PHI and health information and avoid penalties.
Best Healthcare Data Privacy Practices
HIPAA regulations and the risks of data privacy breaches can seem very stressful, but there are many apps and tools that can help you ensure your HIPAA compliance. By applying the following items, you can ensure the safety of both your patients and your company.
• Use admin controls to make sure the data is used by the right people.
• Educate your employees dealing with PHI about data privacy measures.
• Develop a response plan, considering the possibility of violation of the law.
• Encrypt data for enhanced security.
• Never leave PHI records unattended.
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