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data governance in healthcare

Data Governance for Healthcare

In so many industries, cloud computing has revolutionized the way we store files and work in the digital space. It’s not just convenient, it also helps companies in countless industries stay better organized and work more efficiently. The reliance on cloud computing has led to more and more organizations storing their data in the cloud as a way to back up those files. However, storing data on the cloud isn’t enough. As the various types of viruses and malware grow in number and scope, safeguarding your data, or data governance, has become more important than ever. The cybersecurity threat landscape gets bigger every day with more ways to hack into systems being made available to malicious actors.

Any industry with companies that store data (which, these days, is just about all of them) should take extra precautions to ensure their data is both secure and compliant. There’s no industry where this is more important than the healthcare sector, where electronic health records, medical device security, and others data concerns are critical.

In Microsoft’s Modern Workplace, both Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Teams feature data governance tools. Let’s take a closer look at how those systems can facilitate stronger data governance within the healthcare industry specifically.

Compliance

For healthcare industry cloud data, you need an environment compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This regulates (among other things) how patient data needs to be secured and handled. Obviously, with the onset of the digital age, this has complicated HIPAA compliance. It’s made it more important than ever for healthcare organizations to take great care with how they handle their data in the cloud.

While cybersecurity is not the forte of most healthcare facilities or organizations, there is one group that can assist in this area. HITRUST is an organization that specializes in healthcare IT data security. They can facilitate HIPAA compliance for healthcare organizations with cloud data to ensure all the appropriate standards are met.

HITRUST can offer healthcare facilities and organizations best practices on how to not just secure their data, but also how to proactively stay alert to emerging cyber threats.

Modern Workplace

When using Microsoft’s Modern Workplace, it’s critical to understand how some of their most prominent applications within the space work.

Take Microsoft Teams, for example. Teams encourages greater collaboration between disparate departments within an organization. It allows your various internal teams to communicate via live chat, instant messaging, and “channels” you can establish within the platform. It also allows for file storage. Within the channels you can set up in teams, you can set up different sub-channels corresponding to the various offices and departments within your organization.

While you and your team members can use SharePoint in concert with Teams, it has a different purpose. Within Modern Workplace, SharePoint is a software platform designed for optimal document storage and management. You can create files and folders for department and team websites that integrate with Teams as well. Within the SharePoint application, you can use data governance to secure all files stored therein.

Data Governance Within Modern Workplace

Modern Workplace includes a large number of applications you and your team may use to collaborate. Microsoft Teams and Microsoft SharePoint are two of the most effective for collaboration. While both applications have superior utility due to their flexible features and storage, that means that it becomes even more crucial to secure all data stored within them. A breach of either could be costly for your organization, leading to a loss of:

  • Money, due to potential lawsuits or fines associated with a data breach.
  • Consumer trust, due to a patient’s personal information becoming compromised.
  • Staff time and resources, as your team scrambles to recover and/or secure the data. This can lead to staffing issues as many hours may be dedicated to fixing the issue, hurting your budget.

That’s why Modern Workplace uses data governance to encompass data holistically in a way that optimizes both integrity and security. Microsoft 365 offers a comprehensive data governance solution. Because Microsoft 365 is used across so many organizations, both inside and outside the healthcare industry, Microsoft 365 offers data governance across all of its applications.

No matter what Microsoft 365 application you use, and for what purpose – whether it’s storing data, sharing data while you communicate with your team, or any other reason – Microsoft 365 can keep it safe.

Safeguarding Your Data

data governance in healthcare

There are multiple ways to safeguard your data to prevent a malicious actor from compromising it. The method of safeguarding you use will depend on what works best for you and your organization. You can use security within your cloud environment using either Cloud App Security, Azure Information Protection, or Azure ATP.

While the frequency with which you perform these will vary depending on your organization, you can also safeguard your data by encrypting all your data and performing regular scans to assess your applications’ vulnerability. You can choose to regularly patch all your systems. You can set up multi-factor authentication to give an extra layer of security to your staff’s password sign-in process. There are numerous measures you can take to keep your data safe. Again, what you do specifically depends on your specific healthcare facility’s security needs.

Conclusion

Modern Workplace offers your healthcare organization so many great features to help it operate more efficiently and effectively. That includes the ability to secure the data in your cloud environment. It offers you the best of both worlds: the ability to collaborate using your organization’s data while also keeping it safe from any potential threats. These features don’t just keep your data from falling into the hands of hackers or others with nefarious goals. They also help keep your facility 100% HIPAA compliant, shielding you from potential fines or loss of your patients’ confidence.

Want to find out more about how to secure your company files in Modern Workplace? Agile IT can help.



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