10 patient data protection strategies

Protecting patient information is crucial. Here are 10 strategies to safeguard patient data for 2015, according to PHI Protection Network and ID Experts.

1. Engage leadership. Recruiting an organizational leadership champion is essential to cement a culture of compliance for data security.

2. Find and identify your data. Know where and what your data is and how data is transferred inside and outside your organization.

3. Control patient data workflow to minimize access. Fewer access points mean a lower likelihood of a breach.

4. Conduct risk assessments. Be sure to include new purchases, systems and devices as they occur.

5. Prioritize third-party vendor management. Third party partnerships are additional points of access to health data for thieves.

6. Be proactive about compliance. Going above legal requirements for data security can be a good idea.

7. Prioritize privacy as a design feature in technology adoption.

8. Benchmark. With this knowledge, it is possible to improve security.

9. Inspect "nonstandard" systems for patient health information. These include things like voicemail systems and closed-circuit television, which may not be closely protected.

10. Encourage a culture of patient data security among employees.

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