Why Is Data Privacy Important in Healthcare

There is a rapid uptake of cutting-edge innovations in healthcare. In particular, IT is used to help both doctors and patients, which ultimately leads to better healthcare!

The electronic health record (EHR) is the backbone of a hospital’s IT infrastructure because it keeps sensitive patient data like PHI.

In addition, the administrative and financial teams at hospitals utilize various tools to track metrics, including patient satisfaction and cost-effectiveness.

IT technologies are also used by federal and government agencies to monitor healthcare facilities for quality and safety. Of course, people use many apps to track their health data and talk to their doctors on the go.

Cloud computing, mobile devices, and next-generation databases manage, store, and provide access to this data. Moreover, protecting sensitive patient information has recently become the industry’s top priority. Now, why is data privacy important in healthcare?


Reasons Why Protecting Personal Information Is Crucial

Reason 1: Cyberattacks Against the Healthcare Industry are Growing in Frequency and Severity

Attacks on businesses over the internet are on the rise. Cybercriminals target businesses because they have the money to pay a ransom in exchange for the return of stolen data and because many organizations lack the personnel and technology to prevent such attacks.

Reason 2: Targets Include Healthcare Facilities More Frequently

Many healthcare institutions operate on outmoded or poorly secured networks, carrying a wealth of sensitive information that could be useful to hackers.

Many healthcare companies store highly confidential information on their networks because of the nature of their operations. Information such as a patient’s SSN, credit card number, insurance details, and medical diagnosis may be stored in their medical record.

Given the potential for financial gain from selling the information on the dark web, using it to commit financial or identity theft, or demanding a ransom in exchange for returning it safely, hackers have a strong incentive to steal this data.

Reason 3: You Should Comply to Prevent Penalties

Several laws and guidelines require healthcare providers to maintain the confidentiality of their patient’s personal information. A data breach may cause a firm to violate regulations, which can result in fines and even imprisonment for the most egregious offenders.

If healthcare organizations want to avoid noncompliance penalties and the associated brand damage, they should make data privacy a top priority.

Reason 4: Gain the Trust of Clients and Patients
The doctor-patient relationship relies heavily on mutual trust. When doctors’ offices employ data-sharing systems that sell patients’ information to third parties like advertising and healthcare providers, they risk betraying their patients’ confidence.

If your patients don’t believe you have their best interests at heart, they may be reluctant to share personal information about their health.

A patient’s health could be jeopardized if their symptoms and medical history aren’t fully disclosed to the doctor. Data breaches can shatter this confidence if the stolen personal information of patients is made public. It is widespread on the dark web.


Best Practices in Protecting Healthcare Data Privacy

  • When it comes to your business’s cyber security, your staff is the weakest link. Even if you have the most advanced network defenses, one careless employee who clicks on a phishing link or poorly chosen password might compromise the entire system.
  • From their first day on the job, individuals who have received training in cyber security best practices have shown more personal accountability. Some things should be included in any workplace policy about cyber security.
  • It is essential to cover some broad strokes regarding people’s general safety while using computers and the internet. Such guidelines can include reminders to log out of computers after use or information on how to distribute sensitive material to other employees.
  • Many people use insecure passwords without realizing it. Thus providing advice on creating secure passwords should be a significant aspect of any cyber security strategy for employees.
  • If you can help your employees learn to spot and avoid phishing attempts, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of a cyber assault on your company. Sending phishing tests to staff is a great way to reinforce your company’s cyber security training. These simulations observe which workers fall for a bogus phishing scheme and then enroll them in a mandatory training course.