Employers may ease their employees’ concerns regarding privacy by managing privacy risk and communicating privacy policies to their workforce.
While reading a Healthcare IT News article about protecting the privacy of patient data in hospitals last week, I couldn’t help think about how the “holder” of personal health information has changed over the last decade. As more employers implement workplace wellness programs, employers now have access (whether actual or perceived) to, not only the health status of their workers, but to their lifestyle behaviors, too. Some employees are concerned about how the employer will use and share this data.
In conversations with executives of smaller companies, I’ve learned that this is sometimes more of a concern than in larger companies because there are often less information firewalls in place and fears exist about personal health information leaking out into the community.
Both small and large employers can ease the privacy concerns of employees by communicating their attentiveness in keeping personal health data private. Additionally, as Rob Israel stated in the Healthcare IT News article, “Most of your risk can be dealt with through new technologies – by proactively removing risk.”