How healthcare marketers are taking extra precautions to protect patient data

As privacy concerns escalate in response to tech companies' edging ever further into healthcare — and, especially, in the wake of the reveal of Google and Ascension's "Project Nightingale" — marketers in the field are walking on eggshells to avoid breaching patient trust.

While gathering and using patient information is undeniably invaluable to healthcare marketers, providers and organizations, MM&M reports that marketers, in particular, are taking care to constantly review and revise data management policies and to monitor data-gathering technology to ensure it is not endangering patients or their data.

This oversight is further complicated by the fact that HIPAA, which was enacted in 1996, offers little guidance on modern-day data use.

"The rules were created before the digital age," Ritesh Patel, chief digital officer of Ogilvy Health, told MM&M. "What may look like an innocent ability to anonymously track behavior via cookies could blow up quickly as customers navigate across platforms and channels and also throw off potentially personally identifiable signals."

As a result, marketing experts at hospitals and healthcare-focused firms are devising their own internal regulations to not only protect the data they collect, but also increase transparency about what that collection entails.

"The stakes are super high because privacy problems aren't what the industry needs right now," Asaf Evenhaim, CEO and co-founder of digital healthcare marketing firm Crossix Solutions, told MM&M. "It's important to look at what can be done with data, but it's just as important to look at what we shouldn't do."

More articles on digital marketing:
Viewpoint: What Google's elimination of cookies means for healthcare marketers
Chief marketing officer turnover still highest in C-suite: Average tenure slips to 42 months
Provider-focused marketing platform raises $7M

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