11 Data Security Tips to Immunize Your Health Care Organization

by ID Experts


According to the Chinese zodiac, 2013 is the Year of the Snake. I predict that 2013 will be the Year of the Data Breach, at least in healthcare. According to the newly released Third Annual Benchmark Study on Patient Privacy & Data Security by Ponemon Institute, 94 percent of healthcare organizations surveyed suffered data breaches. The common-cold frequency of data breaches causes legal, financial and reputational headaches for everyone.

Healthcare organizations want and need to protect against these stresses, but the pervasive nature of electronic protected health information (PHI) makes this a difficult task—an understatement—to be sure. However, I believe that data breaches don’t have to be disastrous if organizations take steps to operationalize pre-breach and post-breach processes to better protect patient data and minimize breach impact. With that in mind, a handful of colleagues and I assembled a list of 11 recommendations for a healthier organization in 2013—and beyond. Click here for the complete list:

Government HealthIT: 11 data security tips for a healthy organization in 2013

Patient information is at risk for infection. If healthcare professionals commit to a healthier organization, however, they can prevent what is otherwise a “common-cold” data breach from becoming life-threatening pneumonia. These strategies are a good start.


Rick Kam, CIPP, is founder and president of ID Experts. He is an expert in privacy and information security. His experience includes leading organizations in policy and solutions to address protecting PHI/PII and resolving privacy incidents and identity theft. He is the chair of the ANSI PHI Project, Identity Management Standards Panel and the Santa Fe Group Vendor Council ID Management working group. He is also an active member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals and is a member of the Research Planning Committee for the Center Identity which is part of the University of Texas Austin.