Are you a doctor, dentist, chiropractor or other healthcare professional? If so, you’re probably familiar with doctor-patient confidentiality. In fact, you probably understand more than most just how important it is to protect your customer’s data from falling into the wrong hands. But did you know there’s more to it than making sure you have a good password? Here are 3 reasons you should be concerned about where you store you data.
1. PIPA / PIPEDA Laws
You should be familiar with these laws by now if you aren’t already. They exist both at a federal (PIPEDA) and provincial (BC PIPA) level. It’s important to note that Perfect Leap™ is an IT company, not a law firm, so we can not offer you legal advice. However I can tell you that the basic gist of these laws indicates that you want to ensure your patient’s data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands – an example of the wrong hands being a subpoena of private medical information from a US law enforcement agency. So what does that mean?
It means you should take steps to ensure your data is:
- Stored either on-premises or in a Canadian Data Center, by a Canadian entity
- Fully encrypted, both at-rest and in transit (although this is just good security practice to begin with)
- Adequately protected against breach / theft from hackers
- Adequately backed up and versioned to protect against loss of key medical history
2. Your reputation is at stake
If you haven’t already figured as much from the potential fallout of breaching privacy laws, there’s a large risk that the reptuation of your practice could be tarnished forever. It’s well-known throughout the healthcare industry that once you breach trust with one person, it’s very difficult if not impossible to fully recover. Imagine what would happen if your patient’s data fell into the wrong hands – lawsuits could ensue, followed by negative PR, and more importantly your patients could be hurt! Remember the hyppocratic oath: I will never divulge, holding such things to be holy secrets. Do yourself a favor, make sure that your customers can trust you with their data as much as they trust you with their health!
3. Your business needs to stay running
Health care practices are busy on a bad day. There is a never-ending stream of people waiting for have their needs met. Without sidetracking too much into the weeds (doctor shortages, etc), as a health care practicioner you already know that any downtime can result in even longer lineups, increased patient frustrations and poor reviews. It’s important for the health of your business that things like
- Online appointment booking
- Insurance processing
are all working properly in order to keep your practice running at full capacity. Any one of these components failing can result in lost revenue. Did you know there are cloud solutions now available that can keep your clinic going in the event of a disaster? In fact, there’s really no reason not to keep a backup in the cloud, so long as you’re conscious of who owns that cloud and how it’s being stored (see tip #1).
At Perfect Leap™, we’re passionate about technology. Our experience in the health-care sector includes medical clinics, doctors offices, massage therapy and chiropracticioners. We provide reliable managed IT solutions for a flat monthly cost! If you’re ready to make the Perfect Leap™ to a smooth-running practice, contact us for a consultation today!