Data storage may not be your favorite topic, but it’s a critically important one when looking at the larger idea of a healthcare tech stack. The “tech stack” is a term pulled from industries like marketing and sales where many different software platforms have to work in concert with each other to provide a viable end result. The growth of healthcare technology over the last few years has built the need for a health tech stack, but also the need for greater data security.
When it isn’t being accessed, data needs to be digitally secured and stored in accordance with all the rules and regulations that the law requires. The law that requires most of that compliance is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, otherwise known as HIPAA. This is the law by which most of the regulations surrounding the healthcare space stem from, and the storage of data is a very important subject, so it’s imperative to get this section of the healthcare technology stack correct. To make sure that it’s done the right way, here are a few topics and questions to ask vendors that are handling your population health data.
One of the biggest hurdles for effective data loss prevention is simultaneously securing the digital side of data and the physical side of data. “Securing access to a data location” can mean controlling who can access the data through the web, but also securing who can access the actual server where the data is stored. These vendors have had plenty of time to specialize in their craft, so they should be very familiar with the needs of companies looking to them for health tech security, but these are a few boxes to check when deciding on who to choose:
Overall, the point of these questions is to make sure that every eventuality is planned for. What will not work is a vendor that doesn’t have a plan for if things happen to go wrong. The importance of member health data is too high to leave the chance that it might be stolen, lost, or compromised.
When you place data in a cloud, it means that the information is hosted on a decentralized server that gives access to the data across multiple points. Moving to this virtual environment changes the playground, but the rules of information security mostly stay the same with a few variations. When searching for a suitable cloud security offering, be sure to cover the following questions:
Another thing to keep an eye out for is the line between security and accessibility. Keeping paper records locked tight in a lockbox completely away from the internet sounds like a pretty secure solution, but also wildly inaccessible. Having member health records behind nothing but a password-protected webpage might be the most accessible option, but also open for invasion by certain determined individuals. The questions we’ve posted above help to try and establish the line between these two extremes that work the best for your organization.