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Can you keep a secret? Patient data security in population health management

by ​Kash Hatton
Are you supporting the privacy & security of your patients' healthcare information? Here are some questions you might want to ask yourself. Effective population health management is based on a solid foundation of efficiently collecting, analyzing and sharing information. With the increasing access to and sharing of data comes the need to improve patient data security.

The ability of any healthcare organization, from individual and small group practices to multi-hospital networks, ACOs and HIEs, to capture, transform and manage data is likely worthless—and potentially very costly—if it can’t be executed safely and securely. This is even more important as population health management is starting to become a reality.

It’s never too late to start strengthening security measures at your organization.

To this end, ask yourself: Are you taking every reasonable measure to ensure strong patient data security? Start by answering these questions:


  • Are you locking down workstations, printers and multifunction devices, to prevent unauthorized access to patient health information?
  • Are you leveraging up-to-date encryption and decryption capabilities for transmission and storage of patient health information?
  • Do you regularly conduct thorough and comprehensive annual risk assessments, including the performance of actual hacking attempts based on real-life scenarios, of data management systems and processes?
  • Do you train and update all staff, from your maintenance and clerical staff to your C-suite executives, on the details of HIPAA and other security standards on a regular basis?
  • Are you checking that the vendors you partner with have patient data management processes that meet HIPAA guidelines?

It’s never too late to start strengthening security measures at your organization.

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