Why Is Data Privacy Important in Healthcare

There is a rapid uptake of cutting-edge innovations in healthcare. In particular, IT is used to help both doctors and patients, which ultimately leads to better healthcare!

The electronic health record (EHR) is the backbone of a hospital’s IT infrastructure because it keeps sensitive patient data like PHI.

In addition, the administrative and financial teams at hospitals utilize various tools to track metrics, including patient satisfaction and cost-effectiveness.

IT technologies are also used by federal and government agencies to monitor healthcare facilities for quality and safety. Of course, people use many apps to track their health data and talk to their doctors on the go.

Cloud computing, mobile devices, and next-generation databases manage, store, and provide access to this data. Moreover, protecting sensitive patient information has recently become the industry’s top priority. Now, why is data privacy important in healthcare?


Reasons Why Protecting Personal Information Is Crucial

Reason 1: Cyberattacks Against the Healthcare Industry are Growing in Frequency and Severity

Attacks on businesses over the internet are on the rise. Cybercriminals target businesses because they have the money to pay a ransom in exchange for the return of stolen data and because many organizations lack the personnel and technology to prevent such attacks.

Reason 2: Targets Include Healthcare Facilities More Frequently

Many healthcare institutions operate on outmoded or poorly secured networks, carrying a wealth of sensitive information that could be useful to hackers.

Many healthcare companies store highly confidential information on their networks because of the nature of their operations. Information such as a patient’s SSN, credit card number, insurance details, and medical diagnosis may be stored in their medical record.

Given the potential for financial gain from selling the information on the dark web, using it to commit financial or identity theft, or demanding a ransom in exchange for returning it safely, hackers have a strong incentive to steal this data.

Reason 3: You Should Comply to Prevent Penalties

Several laws and guidelines require healthcare providers to maintain the confidentiality of their patient’s personal information. A data breach may cause a firm to violate regulations, which can result in fines and even imprisonment for the most egregious offenders.

If healthcare organizations want to avoid noncompliance penalties and the associated brand damage, they should make data privacy a top priority.

Reason 4: Gain the Trust of Clients and Patients
The doctor-patient relationship relies heavily on mutual trust. When doctors’ offices employ data-sharing systems that sell patients’ information to third parties like advertising and healthcare providers, they risk betraying their patients’ confidence.

If your patients don’t believe you have their best interests at heart, they may be reluctant to share personal information about their health.

A patient’s health could be jeopardized if their symptoms and medical history aren’t fully disclosed to the doctor. Data breaches can shatter this confidence if the stolen personal information of patients is made public. It is widespread on the dark web.


Best Practices in Protecting Healthcare Data Privacy

  • When it comes to your business’s cyber security, your staff is the weakest link. Even if you have the most advanced network defenses, one careless employee who clicks on a phishing link or poorly chosen password might compromise the entire system.
  • From their first day on the job, individuals who have received training in cyber security best practices have shown more personal accountability. Some things should be included in any workplace policy about cyber security.
  • It is essential to cover some broad strokes regarding people’s general safety while using computers and the internet. Such guidelines can include reminders to log out of computers after use or information on how to distribute sensitive material to other employees.
  • Many people use insecure passwords without realizing it. Thus providing advice on creating secure passwords should be a significant aspect of any cyber security strategy for employees.
  • If you can help your employees learn to spot and avoid phishing attempts, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of a cyber assault on your company. Sending phishing tests to staff is a great way to reinforce your company’s cyber security training. These simulations observe which workers fall for a bogus phishing scheme and then enroll them in a mandatory training course.



In conclusion, the imperative for healthcare organizations to uphold stringent data privacy and cyber security measures is more critical than ever. The sensitive nature of patient information, coupled with the high stakes of compliance and the foundational trust in the doctor-patient relationship, underscores the need for robust data protection strategies.

The repercussions of data breaches transcend financial losses, impacting patient safety, privacy, and the integrity of the healthcare system at large. To navigate this challenging landscape, healthcare providers must not only invest in comprehensive cyber security training and adopt effective protection strategies but also seek innovative solutions that enhance their data privacy capabilities.

This is where Sertainty comes into play. We encourage healthcare organizations to contact us to explore how our data privacy platform can empower them to succeed in this vital area. Sertainty’s technology offers a unique approach to securing sensitive information, ensuring that data privacy is not just a compliance requirement but a competitive advantage.

By partnering with Sertainty, healthcare providers can significantly mitigate the risks associated with data breaches and build a stronger, more trustworthy relationship with their patients. Let us help you turn the challenge of data privacy into an opportunity for growth and enhanced patient care.

Reach out to Sertainty today to see how we can support your organization in achieving its data privacy goals.



What is data privacy in healthcare?

Data privacy in healthcare refers to the measures and practices put in place to protect patients’ personal health information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. It ensures that sensitive health data is kept confidential and is only accessed by individuals with the right to view or use it.

Why is protecting patient data crucial in healthcare?

Protecting patient data is crucial in healthcare because it involves sensitive information, including medical histories, treatments, and diagnoses. Breaches of this data can lead to identity theft, financial loss, and can significantly impact patients’ privacy and trust in the healthcare system.

How does data privacy affect patient trust?

Data privacy directly impacts patient trust in the healthcare system. When patients feel confident that their personal health information is secure, they are more likely to share necessary information for their care, leading to better health outcomes. Conversely, concerns over data privacy can deter patients from seeking care or being honest with their healthcare providers.

What are the potential consequences of a healthcare data breach?

A healthcare data breach can have several severe consequences, including legal penalties for the organization, financial losses from fines and lawsuits, and damage to the institution’s reputation. For patients, it can lead to privacy violations, identity theft, and financial fraud.

How can healthcare organizations improve data privacy?

Healthcare organizations can improve data privacy by implementing strong data security measures, such as encryption, access controls, and regular security audits. Training staff on data privacy and security best practices is also crucial to ensure that everyone understands how to handle sensitive information properly.