HIPAA’s Role in Building, Preserving Trust

by | Oct 3, 2022

Trust is perhaps the most valuable asset in a business’ portfolio. On Wall Street trust is reflected as a component of the “goodwill” premium paid above the sum of conventional assets when a company is acquired, and also includes other intangibles like brand name and reputation, customer and employee loyalty, and an organization’s track record for doing right by its customers, employees, and community. Loss of trust may result in a lower stock price, higher customer churn, and a protracted sales cycle. Loss of trust is also considered in the cost of a data breach as determined by the Ponemon Institute in its annual study for IBM.

It’s interesting to note that certain organizations suffer more serious consequences in the aftermath of a data breach, and the ones faring the worst are in what we might think of as “high trust” industries like financial services and healthcare. It makes sense. If a retailer, which has a more short-term, transactional relationship with consumers, is breached, customers can often be wooed back with lower prices and other incentives. But if you don’t believe you can trust a bank, financial advisor, brokerage, or other financial services firm with your hard-earned money, you’ll engage with one you believe you can trust.

The Stakes (and Costs) are High

The stakes are even higher in healthcare. In order to receive the best possible care from a physician or healthcare provider, we must share some of the most private and intimate details of our habits and bodies, and we can only feel comfortable doing that if we believe we can trust the individual or the institution with whom that information is shared. That may be why the healthcare industry incurs the highest costs when a data breach occurs.

According to Ponemon, across all industries the average cost of a data breach in 2021 was $4.35 million; but for organizations in healthcare the average was more than double at $10.1 million. Financial services was a distant second at $5.97 million.

Because of the sensitive nature of personal medical data—known as protected health information or PHI—groundbreaking privacy legislation known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was adopted in 1996 to establish standards for the safeguarding and safe handling of PHI, and to provide the means of enforcement. HIPAA was complemented in 2009 with passage of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) which created national health information exchanges and provided incentives to digitize traditionally paper health records.

Trust Diplomat MFT for HIPAA Compliance

file transfer and hipaa complianceTo avoid a trust-busting breach of medical data and HIPAA violation requires rigorous data security and data management strategies that complement each other to ensure data is protected at every stage of life, from creation and capture, transfer and storage, use and—eventually—destruction. Having the right tools to ensure data is secured and monitored, and that every step of that journey is documented for the purposes of auditing, is a key component of HIPAA compliance.

Our Diplomat MFT secure, managed file transfer software has proven to be an excellent tool for healthcare services providers who want to keep PHI protected and tracked when it is moved from place-to-place. Numerous hospitals, healthcare networks, and other healthcare services providers trust Diplomat MFT to automate those processes, keep data encrypted, and document operations to ensure compliance. Diplomat MFT does this by:

  • Using process automation to minimize the chance of human error;
  • Automatically encrypting files using OpenPGP, and encrypting transmissions using SFTP;
  • Requiring operator authentication to restrict use to only authorized staff;
  • Affirming successful, secure transfers and alerting users of transfer failures;
  • Capturing operational data for forensics and in the event of an audit; and,
  • Providing an extensive integrations and support for communications protocols, cloud services, and other technologies, applications, and services in common use by healthcare organizations.

And to make sure that it is available to the widest possible range of organizations no matter how big or small, Coviant Software made its award-winning Diplomat MFT no-code simple to install and operate; offers Diplomat MFT in three right-sized editions for small, mid-sized, and large enterprises; and priced Diplomat MFT ethically so you don’t have a pay a premium for a necessary thing like HIPAA compliance. Plus, we back it all up with customer and technical support that is recognized as the best in the industry.

You can try Diplomat MFT for free to make sure it is everything we say it is, and that it is right for your organization. Click below to get started.

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