#HowTo: Protect Healthcare Providers' Data

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With high research and development costs, pharmaceutical companies are not in a position to drop the ball when it comes to marketing. Getting their drugs in front of the right healthcare providers (HCPs) and delivering a connected customer experience requires data – and lots of it. 

One of the most pressing challenges facing pharmaceutical companies today is that the established procedure to collect and leverage this data is under threat due to the changing privacy landscape. Healthcare data represents some of the most sensitive information that exists, making it an attractive target for cyber threat actors. 

Healthcare and life sciences brands looking to upgrade their data offerings and infrastructure need to prioritize platforms and solutions that protect clients and patients every step of the way. Here’s how forward-thinking pharmaceutical companies are offering robust data security and privacy in their marketing practices today:

Establish Doctor’s Consent

From reading lab results to performing procedures and prescribing medication, modern HCPs barely have time to see all of their patients, let alone find the energy to meet with salespeople. To reach doctors at the right time, pharmaceutical companies have resorted to blitz campaigns, where providers are bombarded with promotional and educational materials across several different channels. While many HCPs find this more distracting than useful, the strategy presents an even more fundamental problem around identity data and consent.

With the deprecation of third-party cookies and the recent Apple iOS tracking update, coupled with the emergence of new data privacy laws at the state and local levels, pharmaceutical companies must ensure that every digital interaction with a potential client that involves data is consented to. Failure to establish consent with HCPs triggers potential compliance issues that could run afoul of privacy laws and put data at unnecessary risk. As a result, pharmaceutical marketers require solutions that can resolve identity at the individual level and process that data to manage opt-in policies, permissions, and overall consent. At a minimum, marketers today should have tools that can deploy suppression techniques, track topic-based engagement, and monitor email bounce, which is impossible without proper architecture for identity and consent.

Own the Critical Touchpoints

Investing in digital channels is an opportunity for pharmaceutical brands to provide content previously shared during in-person interactions while allowing HCPs to manage their own journeys at their own pace. Increased engagement through owned digital touchpoints, like a brand website, also enables pharmaceutical companies to collect first-party data, an increasingly important data source since the decline of third-party data and the rise of new privacy legislation.

Hosting these critical touchpoints is only one part of the challenge. Marketers also need cloud-based solutions that can ingest all of the data yielded from these touchpoints. With the right tech stack, pharmaceuticals can automatically run campaigns, assign calls and meetings, prioritize leads, determine the next best actions and identify the right channel at the right time. Moreover, marketers can also deliver personalized experiences by tailoring the message to the HCP’s interests. That’s why a single platform that brings together data and unlocks visibility can be a game-changer, as it allows organizations to stitch together every touchpoint into an orchestrated journey. Perhaps more importantly, it empowers pharmaceutical brands to make fast decisions to provide HCPs with the correct information in real-time.

Proof of Compliance

By meeting Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements, customer data platforms enable healthcare organizations to deliver more helpful experiences across all touchpoints while keeping patient data secure and safe. Pharmaceutical brands must prioritize digital tools that ensure health information is compliant with healthcare data security, privacy and governance standards, including HIPAA Type I, Service Organization Control (SOC 2) Type II, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

HIPAA standards – enforced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – govern rules and practices for maintaining the security and privacy of electronic health information and ensuring the integrity of protected health information. HIPAA examinations conducted by independent third parties should provide confidence that data management practices are observing the ruling standards and regulations.

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