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Secure Health Information: 6 Best Practices To Maintain Data Privacy

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By Author: William Davis
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Information breaches are affecting a lot of companies across different sectors, and healthcare is one of them. Data loss is one of the biggest concerns in recent times and patients’ medical records are often found to be accessible to the public easily. If you find yourself in this spot where your company data is at a risk, take the following few basic steps to minimize breaches and secure health information efficiently.

Define policies clearly. When the policy framework is inconsistent, your system or network can be exposed to a privacy breach. Ensure you have strong legal requirements, providers’ policies, disclosure consents from patients, and agreements among health information exchange participants, without any loopholes.
Set risk management programs in place. By evaluating your possible risks, you can identify gaps in your data environment. Risk analysis will help you make a good assessment of such potential gaps, and then build a strong security solution around them.
Ensure every employee is aware of the correct responses to data incidents. Create a process for these responses, and train your employees ...
... on how to report any breach of security. Documenting the incidents will help you take the necessary action, as well as investigate the incident to take corrective action.
Track all user activity. Monitoring the environment using automated technology will help you keep tabs on activities at all times. Security software companies can help you implement alerts to track, prevent and stop incidents before they lead to a breach.
Have enterprise password management in place. Incidents such as hacks and outages often take place due to unmanaged systems and user errors. Managing the enterprise with the right identity and access management solutions such as single sign on will help with data protection and integrity.
Employ data encryption. Data stored or sent via electronic devices, including mobile devices, can be at a risk of breach. It’s important to ensure that this data, such as emails, conversations and other interactions, be secured and encrypted, which will prevent unauthorized persons from seeing it, even unintentionally.

Privacy and security will ensure information integrity, and in turn also build patients’ trust in your organization. If they’re not comfortable providing data as they feel their information is at risk, they may not share it with you, which can have adverse consequences in treatments as well as health research. Hence it’s important to secure health information, and prevent breaches or data loss.

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