The Impact of HIPAA and HiTech on Information Storage and Sharing in the Healthcare Industry

The amount of data being exchanged in the healthcare industry is growing exponentially. As the volume of medical data grows, the need to store, access and protect this information also increases.

7 August 2013

The amount of data being exchanged in the healthcare industry is growing exponentially. As the volume of medical data grows, the need to store, access and protect this information also increases. Additionally, heath care technology is becoming more widespread. Healthcare organizations are adopting mobile technology, archiving larger files and moving from paper to digital documents. It is important that professionals in the healthcare industry have the ease of access they need to store and share this highly-sensitive information securely, but it is also imperative that they comply with HIPAA Laws and the HiTech Act.

On Thursday June 27, 2013, Intralinks sponsored a webcast that was hosted by compliance week writer, Joe Mont. The webcast discussed the HIPAA Laws and HiTech Act and the urgent need for medical professionals to understand and comply with these regulations. The webcast featured Orion Health’s Chief Compliance Counsel, Jose Tabuena and Intralinks Chief Technology Officer, John Landy. Both Jose and John addressed the importance of compliance and the risks associated with not following these laws.

During the first half of the webcast, Jose spoke about how the amount of data being exchanged in the healthcare industry is growing exponentially, and the challenge of having ease of access and providing confidentiality to the patient continues to be an issue.

Jose discussed several emerging trends within the industry on uses of information stored and technology to improve efficiency. There is a need for a more efficient way for healthcare providers in different systems to be able to share information more readily. The use of data analytics to aggregate and analyze a high volume of sensitive data on a common platform allows healthcare providers to understand the data better and improve care.

Jose also spoke about the use of mobile medical devices to track and monitor patient information. Because of the positive impact it can have, the FDA has been regulating software for medical devices and those in the healthcare industry are anticipating overarching guidance on these medical mobile apps. One of the biggest new trends is the concept of big data, which now allows the collection and analysis of information from multiple sources. As patient information comes from multiple sources, the use of big data will help to enhance the performance of physicians and health care professionals by providing them with the resources to make better, more informed treatment decisions.

With all of these emerging trends, healthcare establishments need to implement controls to prevent inappropriate access and use of Protected Health Information (PHI). Data breaches not only risk revealing patient health information, but also open up those whose information is compromised to identity theft, fraud and other violations. Using a secure content management and sharing platform like Intralinks VIA™ can allow healthcare professionals to find a balance between complying with these laws and having the freedom to collaborate.

John Landy discussed the ways in which Intralinks VIA can help comply with the HIPPA and HiTech laws by allowing healthcare organizations to share sensitive medical files while protecting patients’ privacy. For example, an actuarial group analyzing data for a company to provide recommendations about raising rates or changing policies will need to be able share documents without having the time to worry about a data breach. If a decision leaked to the media prior to it becoming public, a media storm could erupt and adversely affect the reputation of the company. Using a secure sharing tool to carry out this process can secure sensitive medical data and allow productivity among medical professionals.

As the volume of medical data being exchanged continues to grow, a secure storage and sharing platform will become a major asset in the healthcare industry. For more information about the impact of HIPAA and HiTech on information storage and sharing in the health care industry, click here:

Britany DiCicco

Britany DiCicco

Britany DiCicco supports the enterprise product marketing team at Intralinks focusing on market analysis, positioning, messaging and go-to-market initiatives. Britany’s previous experience at Intralinks included analyst relations, competitive intelligence, and marketing. She graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in Economics.