Data has never been more critical to the success of health and human services. It is also invaluable, and should be meeting the highest data security standards available. How can you know if your data privacy is up-to-par? Consider our five signs of strong data security.
Protecting Your Data
Data. So much of our world depends on it today–from social media to health forensics to business operations and is utilized to make inferences and help businesses. Strong data security is essential for all types of fields and industries.
Unfortunately, data can be misused as well. Without proper data protection and security, important and sensitive information can become jeopardized–even weaponized–for ill.
All health and human services organizations bear the responsibility of safeguarding the sensitive and personal data of the people they serve. Whether working with individuals experiencing homelessness, providing critical services to at-risk populations, or helping refugees build new lives, data security can make or break the effectiveness of such programs.
Additionally, health and human services must adhere to compliance regulations. This includes the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which governs rules and standards that protect individuals’ rights to privacy and control over how their health information is used.
5 Signs of Strong Data Security
How can health and human service organizations evaluate their data privacy and security? Just like social services, data security is multifaceted. Consider these five signs below that indicate top-tier data privacy practices.
- Data Confidentiality
When it comes to health and human service organizations, all data should be treated as confidential. Industry-leading data services should not take any data storage lightly. If the data you input is not encrypted, password protected, or otherwise kept confidential, then it should be a sign that your data service provider is not treating all data as confidential.
- Notice and Training
Strong data security is all about regular training. As social services experience turnover, it is essential that all new employees are kept up-to-date with HIPAA standards. Strong data security provides intuitive interfaces and easily accessible resources to recalibrate users with security standards and best practices.
- Incident Reporting and Response
Poor data security is slow to respond when problems arise. Strong security, on the other hand, reports and responds to threats immediately. When considering your organization’s data security, be sure to evaluate the procedure for incidents. As data becomes more important, hacker attempts become more sophisticated. Security systems should flag suspicious behavior and notify all relevant parties.
- Minimum Necessary Rule
Can all members of your organization view all data at any time? If they are, you may be risking your data privacy and security. Strong systems follow what is called the “minimum necessary rule”, meaning that only those who need to access the data can. For a health and human service organization, this might mean limiting what information about a client or individual can be viewed by any particular employee or member.
- Annual Review
The most important thing to remember is that data privacy and security needs to be constantly updated. The best system from five years ago would probably not stand up to today’s threats. As such, strong security systems need to institute annual reviews to update the system, run analyses, and review best (and worst!) practices.
Security and Case Management
For health and human service organizations, data privacy and security responsibilities typically fall on the case management system. Case management platforms with top-tier data security should help their partner organizations maintain data privacy and compliance with HIPAA.
Our case management system, ClientTrack®, leads the industry in data security and privacy. Some of ClientTrack’s security practices include:
- Hashing all passwords within the database
- Automatically timing out after a set period of inactivity
- Preventing concurrent login of the same user account
- Requiring username and strong passwords plus automatic password renewal
- Limiting login attempts and setting lockout time
- Automatically deactivating user accounts and passwords following a set period of inactivity
- Automatically expiring and logging-out after a predefined period of time
If your health and human service organization is considering moving to a case management system with stronger data privacy and security, reach out to our team today.
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