In the digital age, protecting patient data is a tangible extension of the Hippocratic Oath.
Modern medical care has made amazing advancements in treatment and prevention protocols, resulting in substantial improvements in patient well-being. To be sure, healthcare has many problems that range from inflated costs to uneven accessibility, but, medically speaking, these are great days for the healthcare community. Even as the industry continues to advance, healthcare remains grounded on its founding principle: first, do no harm.
The Hippocratic Oath serves as the industry’s lodestar, ensuring that patient care is never compromised by institutional ambition or untested advancement.
While that foundational value undoubtedly helps protect patients from undue harm, it’s taking on new meaning in today’s technology-driven medical economy. Along with treating patients, healthcare companies collect copious amounts of sensitive personal information. Moreover, electronic medical records, credited with boosting efficiency while lowering costs and reducing errors, are a ubiquitous component of the healthcare ecosystem, giving patients real-time access to their medical information, and empowering them to make informed, conscientious decisions.
At the same time, healthcare’s rapid digitization has made data security a top concern. According to the 2019 HIMSS Cybersecurity Survey, 82 percent of hospital IT administrators reported a “significant security incident” in the past year, and the number of reported healthcare-related breaches is at an all-time high. In a real way, data security isn’t just a problem for IT administrators. It’s an extension of quality patient care that includes everyone in the organization.
In the digital age, protecting patient data is a tangible extension of the Hippocratic Oath. To put it simply, doing no harm means that data protection has to be a component of patient care.
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