Our recent “Before Technology” blog series has talked about when to introduce technology into your business. Is it before or after you’ve considered your strategy, marketing plan, and business processes? Well, what about regulatory compliance? When should technology be introduced, and how will it assist your compliance efforts?
When thinking about compliance regulations, there’s a lot to consider regarding the safety of patient data. For instance, HIPAA regulations demand that technology complies with HIPAA by ensuring that all Protected Health Information (PHI) is encrypted, that each medical professional authorized to access and communicate PHI has a “Unique User Identifier,” and that any technology used has an automatic log off to prevent unauthorized access to PHI. Regulations are different for each industry, but are stringent in guarding against theft.
Because not all technology will be compliant with every regulatory requirement, every business, not just healthcare, should consider their regulatory requirements prior to selecting and finalizing the technology they will use to protect data. By knowing the requirements ahead of time, you can make informed technology selections to enhance your compliance efforts while protecting your business, reputation and brand.
While privacy and security work together to protect data, businesses must understand that these are not interchangeable terms. Privacy is about protecting data from unwanted observers or users. However, to ensure privacy, security measures must be in place to control who should and can have access to it.
Security, on the other hand, is about protecting data from malicious activity, such as hacking. With the proper security controls in place, the data is protected from outside forces through technology. When security is done right, privacy then becomes the way to keep data only in the hands of those who should have access to it.
For privacy and compliance, the following are considerations:
Type of data (health records, credit cards, social security numbers, names, dates of birth)
Applicable laws (HIPAA, PCI, GDPR, State Rules, Industry Rules)
Policies and procedures (Incident Response Plans, Disaster Recovery Plans)
Threats and Vulnerabilities
Security considers the following:
Professional IT engagement
Secure data backups and firewalls
Intrusion, detection and prevention
Antivirus software, web filtering and unique user credentials
While privacy and compliance do not equal security, security can provide privacy and compliance when technology is chosen with the right requirements in mind. Before purchasing technology, it is important to consider your future goals, but it is equally important to consider your regulatory compliance requirements. The technology available today may be useful, but if it does not address all compliance needs that you have, it could lead you down a troubled path. Doing so could jeopardize your business, reputation and brand.
ProActive Information Management, LLC and CentraVance Consulting, LLC can help you with your security, privacy and compliance concerns. Give us a call today, at 804-897-8347 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.