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A robust data protection system is crucial for all businesses including healthcare providers. Along with keeping personal information regarding your clients safe, patient data privacy is also important for compliancy to privacy legislation. As a business in the healthcare sector, you have an ethical and legal obligation to safeguard information provided to you by your patients.

There are steps you can take to strengthen your security procedures and policies with respect to protecting patient data. Here are some tips to keep your patient’s data secure.

Why is protecting patient data important?

Medical Records

Failing to secure personal information about your patients can result in serious financial consequences. According to a report by IBM, the average cost of a data breach in the APAC region was $2.62 million in 2019.

The fees associated with containing a breach and the fines handed down for failing to comply with privacy laws can be enough to send a business bankrupt. Apart from economic losses, compromised data can also lead to permanent reputational damage.

Foster a Security-Conscious Culture

Cyber Security

Creating a workplace culture where cyber security is highly valued is key to protecting your business against data theft. Here’s how to encourage your team to take patient data privacy seriously.

  • Lead by example – If managers demonstrate their commitment to following data security procedures, other team members will be more likely to follow their lead.
  • Keep employees informed – Providing employees with plenty of notice about upcoming changes to their operating systems, and the importance and relevance of these updates, can help ease the transition to a more security-conscious workplace.
  • Provide training – Training employees in data protection basics is an essential part of changing your workplace culture.

Use Secure Storage

From cloud software to filing cabinets, the healthcare industry uses a range of systems for storing patient data.  Whatever storage system your business relies on, making sure it’s secure is integral to safeguarding confidential patient information.

Storing data safely involves preventing unauthorised access, misplacement, and accidental corruption of sensitive information. As the healthcare industry has gradually transitioned to digital storage systems, many hard copy versions of healthcare records have needed to be destroyed.

If your business is physically or electronically storing old patient records in the workplace, disposing of them via a secure destruction service can help prevent data breaches.

Shred-X’s certified, secure document shredding and e-waste recycling services can keep your patient data secure.

Create a Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

In Australia, privacy laws determine how you’re allowed to use patient information. Using those laws as a template, healthcare businesses can create an official privacy policy to share with patients. This will show your customers that you understand the importance of their privacy while also strengthening your data protection system.

Your privacy policy should cover the following areas:

  • The type of information you’re allowed to collect from patients
  • What you can do with their information
  • Who you can share that information with.

Be sure to check your State’s privacy legislation to ensure your policy is compliant.

If you need help protecting patient data, Shred-X is your most certified provider. Browse our range of data destruction solutions today, or call 1300 747 339 to speak to a Shred-X sales consultant.