BY Stephen Cavey | 24 November 2020
Over the past decade, the U.S. healthcare industry has shifted to digital record keeping. As this digital shift occurred, concerns about privacy and where sensitive healthcare data was being stored grew to become top of mind for medical providers and patients alike.
Today, health-related information spans far beyond the walls of a medical facility — in fact, it’s stored and shared through fitness apps (i.e. Fitbit), mental health programs, and telehealth services, all of which have surged in use since the onset of COVID-19. As the volume of healthcare data being shared day to day grows exponentially, the limits of the HIPAA framework feels limiting. Given the evolving healthcare landscape, how can clinicians and practitioners maintain HIPAA compliance and make data privacy in healthcare a top priority? Let’s explore.
Healthcare data is both extremely sensitive and valuable. This type of data can range to past health history, such as treatments and medications, to health insurance data, which often contains Social Security numbers, addresses, employer information, and more. According to a recent TrustWave survey, the value of health data was found to be around $250 per record. Additionally, IBM found that a data breach in the healthcare industry costs, on average, $6.45 million and the impact on an individual can be emotionally damaging.
Last year, the healthcare sector saw a whopping 41.4 million patient records breached in 2019, fueled by a 49 percent increase in hacking, according to the Protenus Breach Barometer. And this year’s figures look to be equally, if not more, disturbing, especially amid the global pandemic which has forced the healthcare industry into digital transformation overdrive.
Given the evolving nature of data, the privacy of healthcare can become complicated in regard to its collection, where it goes, and how it’s used in the future. But healthcare professionals can prioritize privacy by following a few simple measures:
Trusted by top healthcare organizations, Ground Labs’ award-winning solution, Enterprise Recon, has the ability to discover over 300 predefined and variant types of data, including healthcare IDs and insurance information. With Enterprise Recon, organizations can discover and remediate data across a variety of locations, including healthcare information stored on servers, on personal desktops, in the cloud and more. Ground Labs is designed to ensure HIPAA compliance, allowing any organization that handles healthcare data to maintain consumer privacy and be a good steward of customer trust.
Don’t take a wait-and-see approach to HIPAA compliance — take action to prioritize healthcare privacy. Book a demo with us today to get started.
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