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Encrypt Everything and Trust No One

In the healthcare sector, security concerns have escalated alongside the pre-existing patient privacy and safety considerations. Unlike industries such as retail, where breaches involve credit data, healthcare deals with far more sensitive information. Your responsibility, therefore, requires careful handling to prevent harm to patients and their families. So, how can you safeguard your healthcare consumer data effectively?

Comprehensive Encryption: Prioritize encryption across all possible areas. However, this is just the first step.

Principle of Least Privilege (POLP): Ensure that your systems, including vendor systems, strictly adhere to POLP. This principle ensures that only authorized individuals, processes, or systems can access information on a need-to-know basis. This mandates accurate role assignments and access rules for users.

Constrained User Interfaces: Implement interfaces that limit functionality based on user authorization. Each user should only have access to functions relevant to their role.

Auditing User Actions: Establish comprehensive audits for user actions, views, and generated reports. This creates an audit trail for forensic analysis during security or privacy investigations.

These guidelines aim to prevent common problems, such as granting excessive access. Consider scenarios where wide access allows individuals to reach all consumer data regardless of their role or knowledge of compliance requirements.

Imagine needing data from your healthcare CRM for a campaign promoting free cancer screenings. The data is sent to the marketing department for creating a social advertising list. Either the data must be manually cleaned by someone familiar with PHI compliance (a time-consuming task) or the marketing team receives sensitive, unnecessary information, violating PHI.

Now, picture a solution with built-in rules-based permissions. Different departments and roles access only the required information, avoiding any exposure of private data that breaches PHI. In the earlier example, the marketing team gains advanced capabilities to segment and model the consumer base, targeting campaigns effectively. Meanwhile, clinical officers can develop population health campaigns based on the clinical data they're authorized to access.

Why Rules Matter: The era of information abundance has arrived, yet without proper segmentation and predictive models, data remains useless. Marketers require models for personalized campaigns and content, while clinicians need segments for coordinated care and communication.

The enormity of big data coupled with security concerns poses significant challenges. However, having a foundation in established security practices like the principle of least privilege (POLP) is crucial. Finding a technology partner well-versed in healthcare security rules ensures your big data can be transformed into actionable insights that enhance population health and consumer experiences.


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