We are happy to welcome Michelle Caswell to the Clearwater family. As a former investigator for OCR, her insights into “the OCR point of view” will be especially valuable for the Clearwater customer community.

The growing adoption of electronic health records and the heightened interoperability of data signals great progress for the healthcare industry. The flipside is that it also ushers in a new set of challenges for safeguarding protected health information.

In fact, exchanging patient information between providers will be a top priority for ONC’s next chief privacy officer, according to the office’s outgoing privacy chief, Joy Pritts.

In a recent interview with Information Security Media Group, Pritts pointed out that as the exchange of patient information rises, so do the risks associated with transferring data.

It is crucial for providers to understand where patient data resides, how information is being transferred and shared between providers and what safeguards, or lack of safeguards, are in place to protect transferred data.

Because the landscape of sharing patient data is continuously changing, it is difficult to keep up with emerging privacy and security implications. All covered entities and business associates should be following ONC’s lead and paying special attention to data sharing as a significant risk to patient privacy, and to their business, as a whole.

Does your organization have a firm handle on safeguarding shared data? Do you understand the risks specific to your organization? Do you have appropriate risk mitigation strategies in place and documented?

We’d love to hear your strategies for “learning to share” and encourage you to send us your toughest challenges and unanswered questions related to this topic!

Register for one of Clearwater’s complimentary webinars on risk analysis and risk management basics and get to grips with these issues and more.