Trust – Are You Building It or Breaking It? 

In a recent edition of The Keckley Report, Paul Keckley, PHD, tackles the issue of trust within healthcare. He opens with the truism that public trust is hard to build and easy to lose.

We have seen this firsthand in healthcare, as a growing number of data breaches and subpar privacy, security and compliance efforts have consistently put protected health data at risk.  Highly publicized instances at retailers such as Target and Michael’s have crippled consumer confidence with the offending brands and more broadly have influenced a declining public perception of the healthcare industry.

Keckley argues the biggest threat to public trust of healthcare in our country comes not from substantive facts about the health system’s performance, but more from personal experiences and subjective opinions.

Trust must exist at the most foundational transactions in healthcare – those between the patient and his/her physician.  When patients stop trusting their providers, important and potentially life-altering information may not be provided by the patient.

Given the ongoing publicity garnered by high profile security breaches, you can expect the population you serve to be – at least – a little skeptical about stewardship of their personal data.

As a result, it’s never been more critical to firmly demonstrate your organization’s commitment to its responsibilities to safeguard PHI. Organizations that can do so will help the industry regain credibility in the area of data security, while also creating competitive advantage by differentiating themselves as a highly trusted entity in the process.

And as Dr. Keckley so aptly states at the close of his article, “we can ill afford to take public trust for granted.”.

For more conversation on the topic of trust, see a previous blog we published, Safeguarding PHI – It’s Not About Compliance; It’s About Patient Trust






Bob Chaput

CEO at Clearwater Compliance
Bob Chaput is widely recognized for his extensive and in-depth knowledge of healthcare compliance and cyber risk management, and is one of the industry’s leading authorities in healthcare information security today. As a leading authority safeguarding health data, Chaput has supported hundreds of hospitals and health systems to successfully manage healthcare’s evolving cybersecurity threats and ensure patient safety.