An Overview of Healthcare Data Security in the U.S.

An Overview of Healthcare Data Security in the U.S.

Healthcare Tech Outlook | Tuesday, February 01, 2022

There are numerous standards for protecting health data, and each country's approach to data security is different.

Fremont, CA: The healthcare business is quick to accept new technologies. This is especially true with information technology, which is utilized to help doctors and patients and improve healthcare delivery. The electronic health record (EHR), which stores patient information, including protected health information, is at the heart of a hospital information system. Furthermore, the hospital's administrative and financial employees use various programs to track the hospital's economic efficiency and treatment success rates. IT solutions are also used by government and federal entities to monitor the quality and safety of healthcare operations. Patients, of course, use a variety of mobile and wireless programs to monitor their vital signs and interact with doctors.

Modern technologies like cloud, mobile, and next-generation databases are utilized to manage, store, and access this data. Healthcare data security is the biggest challenge the healthcare industry has recently faced.

In the United States, healthcare data security is carefully controlled. There are severe standards regarding who (a person or entity) is covered, what information is secured, and what must be done to ensure that healthcare patient information is appropriately protected.

Healthcare data security in the U.S.

No single major federal law in the United States explains how healthcare institutions should acquire and handle personal data. Instead, there are various sets of federal and state-level healthcare data security requirements.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, as well as the HIPAA Privacy Rule and HIPAA Security Rule published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) shortly after, established national standards for the protection of health information, mainly electronic health information. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR), which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, is in charge of enforcing these standards. The OCR promotes voluntary compliance initiatives and has the jurisdiction to levy civil monetary penalties. National rules for the protection of patients' medical records and other personal health information are established under the Health Information Act.

The Rule lays out the requirements for safeguarding and protecting public health information, both when it is stored and when it is disseminated. This Rule also establishes the boundaries and conditions for the use and dissemination of confidential patient data without patient authorization, as well as patient rights to their health information. These patient rights include the ability to inspect and obtain a copy of their protected health information; the ability to request corrections if the data is inaccurate or contains errors; and the ability to obtain a list of who their protected health information has been disclosed to, among other things.

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