Rapid Digital Transformation In Healthcare And The Need For Data Privacy

9/18/2020



 

COVID-19 has fast-tracked digital transformation in an industry known for dragging its heels – healthcare. The problem lies with deep-rooted culture and legacy systems that span the industry as well as a lack of agility. Now, with a pandemic still in full force, the time for rapid digital transformation has come, with many healthcare organizations ill-equipped to understand the risks. 
 

According to the United Nations, digital technologies are critical for facing the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly when it comes to tracking and tracing patients and anyone who may have come into contact with the virus. 

 

In a landscape of uncontrolled infection, disrupted supply chains and an influx of patients, data privacy might seem like the least pressing issue on a long list of problems, but the risks associated with data loss can be catastrophic. Embracing technology to mitigate the effects of disruption doesn’t need to expose the healthcare industry to more risk when the technology already exists to counter it. 

 

An Integrated Approach to Digital Transformation

 

Digital transformation requires a shift in process, strategy, and culture. Integrating the right tools is an important part of that shift, not only to weather the effects of disruption, but to mitigate risk and meet the requirements of laws that govern data privacy, like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). 

 

The use of electronic health records can help manage patients quickly during a crisis, and improve track and trace measures as well as reduce human error. This data is usually shared among partner services such as insurance companies, pharmacies, and doctor networks. Due to this connected nature of the healthcare industry, the risk of data breaches is high. Integrating data privacy tools to protect patient data from both internal and external threats is crucial.

 

According to the Adobe Digital Trends report, organizations with an integrated technology stack see more benefits like improved efficiency, internal communication and data management, and are better equipped to meet the requirements of data privacy legislation. 

 

Data Masking was Designed with ePHI in Mind

 

HIPAA requires that protected health information (PHI) and electronically protected health information (ePHI) be de-identified to ensure there is no risk of that data being used to identify individual patients. Not doing so can result in heavy fines and increase the risk of data breaches.   

 

Read more about meeting HIPAA compliance here.

 

Data masking is a form of data protection that hides statistical elements that could be used to identify someone, including names, telephone numbers, medical record numbers, email addresses, and IP addresses. Data masking allows you to control who can access patient data via workstations, transactions, programs, or processes, protecting patient data inside and outside your organization.

 

Data masking is one of the most trusted methods of protecting sensitive patient data and is the preferred method of data protection for the healthcare industry and risk frameworks like HITRUST.

 

Rapid transformation is changing the healthcare industry. If your organization is feeling the pressure to transform, ensure your digital migration strategy includes a proper risk framework and the right tools to safeguard the patient data in your care.

 

HushHush Data Masking meets the standards HIPAA, HITECH and the GDPR, which all regulate the safeguarding of patient data.  

 

Request a free demo of HushHush Data Masking now.


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