Technology is at the forefront of much of the innovation within the healthcare industry. New advancements are improving everything from patient care procedures to information availability, but many companies are struggling to manage the ancillary side effects of this rapid digitalization.

Healthcare companies collect people’s most sensitive personal information. In addition to health records, which inherently contain very personal information, most healthcare providers gather and store other data like social security numbers, birth dates, and addresses.

In today’s dangerous digital environment where data thefts are frighteningly common, it’s not surprising that healthcare providers are a prime target for data thieves. A recent security survey found that 82% of hospitals incurred a “significant security incident” in the past 12 months. This number is indicative of a broader industry trend.

While all sectors have an incentive to avoid a data breach, healthcare providers are explicitly charged with protecting their patients’ data. HIPAA, the regulatory framework that governs the industry, requires companies that handle health data to protect that information or face penalties. With healthcare-related data breaches at an all-time high, healthcare providers have every incentive to get this dynamic right.

Here are six steps that any company can take to ensure HIPAA compliance in 2020 and beyond.

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