Escaping the Hall of Shame: Protect Your Health IT Business with a Cybercrisis PR Plan

So, your health technology company is about to hit the big time, but with scale comes the potential for devastating data breaches. Do you have a healthcare IT public relations plan in place to help you recover if the worst happens?

In an article about how companies can rebuild trust after a security breach, Forbes staff writer Kate Vinton writes consumers are very much concerned how companies respond:

The good news? Customers, who are generally not concerned about security until a breach happens, are looking for transparency and timely responses to breaches, something companies can provide with enough preparation and foresight.

The Hall of Shame

Violating the electronic security standards of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) can mean breathtaking financial penalties for your company. It can also leave your reputation destroyed.

Far beyond the direct economic damage of federal penalties, data breaches can continue hurting your company for years afterward by damaging its reputation and relationships with clients. Significant breaches affecting the protected health information (ePHI) of 500 or more individuals are posted to what has been dubbed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ “Hall of Shame.”

Protect yourself

There are ways to weather a data breach crisis. An experienced healthcare IT public relations agency can help your business develop a crisis response strategy to reassure the clients, customers, and investors.

A crisis communications plan must be based on transparency. Be honest about the incident and describe the steps your business is taking to make the affected individuals whole. Telling the truth and telling it fast will let your company take control of the narrative.

What now?

For affected individuals, the important question is not how the breach itself occurred. They want to know what now? What steps will your company take to make things right?  Your management team must be ready to respond with the details that are important to individuals. What happens after the breach is dictated by your initial response.

At Ripley PR, we specialize in healthcare IT public relations. We know how important it is developing a cybercrisis response plan to help your business minimize the damage to its reputation.  Proper planning can allow your company to recover from a data breach. Contact us today.

Joel Davis, Content Supervisor

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