As more people across the world are impacted by the spread of coronavirus, rapid data sharing is the basis for keeping communities updated and informed. The World Health Organization (WHO) stresses the importance of data sharing in their recent bulletin and encourages all researchers to share their data as quickly and widely as possible.
The importance of and need for data sharing extends beyond researchers though to also include local hospitals, physicians, and even school systems. In situations like this, where personal health information (PHI) could very likely need to be disclosed and data sharing is presumably on the rise, bear in mind the considerations for meeting HIPAA compliance requirements.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) places a number of requirements on HIPAA-covered organizations to safeguard PHI and the security rule governs how organizations protect their data, with three main sections: physical safeguards, technical safeguards, and administrative safeguards. So even if this outbreak doesn’t impact your organization’s need for sharing data, now is as good a time as any to closely examine PHI protection within your organization.
When it comes to data sharing, technical safeguards are perhaps the best place to start. These tips go beyond strong passwords, backing up data, and keeping software up to date. In a world where data sharing is happening around the clock, security needs to be kicked up a notch in order to give you control over your data, and it starts with ensuring a secure communication workflow.
Data is a powerful tool but it can also be hard to manage. In this challenging time, we stand by our commitment to empower organizations to unlock the power of data by helping create a world where it is always under your control. Our flexible, easy to use and trusted privacy technologies govern access to PHI throughout its full lifecycle—from creation through sharing, storage, analysis, and action.
To learn how Virtru can help with your HIPAA-compliant data sharing needs, get in touch with us today.
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