How Tokenization Works With Health Information Exchanges

In the realm of medical data, health information exchanges (HIEs) represent an exciting change to the existing infrastructure. Instead of hospitals, doctors offices, and insurance companies needing to maintain their own competing records or request information directly from each other, HIEs allow participants to share and exchange patient information freely. This leads to a smoother patient experience, more complete diagnoses, and improved efficiency overall.

However, HIEs also present a challenge: How do you keep this data secure? HIPAA stipulates that the people and companies using medical data should only have access to the minimum necessary information needed to do their jobs. Is there a way to secure the various identifiable data sets in medical records while still letting people access the data they need?

In short, yes. Tokenization solutions like those offered by TokenEx can strip identifiable information from records, allowing you to store and transmit data securely, without an immense compliance burden.

The concept behind tokenization is very straightforward. A record containing sensitive data is sent to TokenEx, where we replace the values you specify with tokens – randomized strings of characters that are matched with the original sensitive values. The original data is stored in a secure data vault, and the tokenized records are used in place of the originals in the business environment. If someone needs access to the sensitive data, they provide the matching tokens, and we pass the real data back. That way, only the minimum necessary data is ever provided. The rest of it stays secured.

Tokenization solutions can work both inside a single company’s environment or as part of an HIE. In either circumstance, sensitive values are secured inside a data vault, and the people who need to access them can only do so when they are authorized. (To keep data as secure as possible, TokenEx uses a robust authentication system to verify identities and authorization.)

As an added benefit, tokenization can also help reduce HIPAA compliance obligations. Because sensitive data is no longer stored in your environment (only tokens are), tokenization reduces the overall scope of your compliance needs. It also reduces the costs and duration of audits and testing, meaning you can save time and money on compliance.

To be sure, participating in an HIE can be complex. But when you use tokenization to secure your records, you remove a huge part of that complexity. If you would like to know more about how tokenization solutions from TokenEx can help you, contact us today to start tokenizing immediately.

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Topic(s): HIPAA , tokenization

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