Freshpaint’s Healthcare Privacy Platform vs Generic CDPs
In today's data-driven world, businesses constantly seek effective solutions to collect, manage, and analyze customer data to deliver personalized experiences. Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) have emerged as a crucial tool, allowing companies to unify and act on customer data from various sources.
But CDPs aren't necessarily the right choice for healthcare. That's because choosing the right platform becomes even more critical in industries where privacy and security are of utmost importance.
Unlike generic CDPs, a Healthcare Privacy Platform helps you execute your data-driven marketing strategies while complying with industry regulations. For healthcare providers, a Healthcare Privacy Platform like Freshpaint has huge advantages over generic CDPs. If you're in healthcare, you'll want to read our breakdown of what to look for in a Healthcare Privacy Platform.
Healthcare Privacy Platforms are safe by default
The critical difference between a Healthcare Privacy Platform and a generic CDP is the idea of "safe by default."
What does this mean? It starts with understanding that a CDP's job is to collect data from your website or product and share that data with your business tools. When those downstream tools aren't HIPAA-compliant, you suddenly have a problem.
To solve this, a Healthcare Privacy Platform has features designed to keep the healthcare provider HIPAA-compliant and reduce their security footprint without needing custom engineering work.
To accomplish this, Healthcare Privacy Platforms must have several layers of data governance to keep you safe. This is critical as generic CDPs will begin collecting and sharing data immediately after they are connected. If you are using a generic CDP, you can be out of compliance within seconds of turning the product on; with a "safe by default" Healthcare Privacy Platform, you can easily control the data flow.
So what's required to be considered safe by default? Let's dive into it.
1) A Business Associate Agreement, or a BAA
“The HIPAA Rules generally require that covered entities and business associates enter into contracts with their business associates to ensure that the business associates will appropriately safeguard protected health information.”
A BAA is table stakes for any platform. A BAA states all the processes and procedures a company has in place to "appropriately safeguard protected health information."
At Freshpaint, our BAA states we can safely collect and store data collected about the actions visitors take on a healthcare provider's website or in their products.
A BAA is a must-have component of a Healthcare Privacy Platform, but it's not enough. That's because while the BAA makes sure a platform can safely collect and store data, it does not make you safe when sharing your data with tools that are not HIPAA-compliant. You'll need a lot more to make tools like Google Analytics and ad platforms that are not HIPAA-compliant safe.
2) Strong PHI Governance
The BAA is just the legal obligation. Healthcare Privacy Platforms need actual engineered safeguards in place to ensure strong PHI governance so they don’t run afoul of regulators. CDPs ultimately send data to other destinations. So if you’re sending ungoverned data to a non-compliant tool like Google Analytics, the BAA you signed with your CDP isn’t really all that useful, is it?
At Freshpaint we have three components to ensure strong PHI governance.
Modern marketers are looking for a complete view of the customer journey. Modern marketing tools give them just that. By tracking individuals across sessions, you can see how a person is interacting with your site or your brand across days and weeks.
To do so, they need a way to identify individual users. This might be email addresses if they are logged into a site, or an IP address if they aren’t. But in healthcare you need to protect the visitor’s privacy and do it in a way that never reveals the identity of that visitor.
These two options seem entirely contradictory. But you can both track across sessions and respect privacy through ID masking. Freshpaint automatically masks the identity of visitors in a way that never reveals their identity to tools like Google Analytics (This is called de-identification and how HIPAA wants you to deal with identifiable information).
To be considered HIPAA-compliant ID Masking, Freshpaint cryptographically hashes all user identifiers server-side using a secret so that the hash is entirely irreversible. Most generic CDPs don’t do cryptographic hashing, but if they do, it’s client-side without a secret. Client-side without a secret doesn’t follow the HIPAA de-identification standards and is reversible, so it will still put you at risk.
For generic CDPs that don’t do cryptographic hashing, your engineering team will have to create a custom anonymizing function before you send the data to the CDP. Building an anonymizing function is a heavy lift for healthcare providers.
As we said above, a generic CDP automatically starts sharing data downstream when you switch it on. For healthcare organizations, that means that identifiers like IP addresses that are in the metadata can be inadvertently shared with tools that are not HIPAA-compliant.
Freshpaint solves this by providing a forced allowlist through a user interface where legal and security teams can select which data is shared and have a single view of which data is shared.
The default setting is that no data is flowing to downstream tools that are not HIPAA-compliant. You control all data flow from your site or product through a single centralized place that forces an opt-in approach to what data can go to which destination.
Role-Based Access Control
The last component of strong PHI governance is good access control. Often with CDPs, analysts or engineers can turn on (or off) any data flow they need. Again, this is built with ease of use rather than security in mind.
But in sensitive areas like healthcare, legal and security teams want a way to restrict the ability of team members to change settings that allow new data to flow freely to downstream tools.
Role-based access control (RBAC) provides your legal team with final approval to share any new data. This helps avoid accidentally sharing PHI with non-compliant tools.
3) Enhanced Server-Side Connections
Most native tracking pixels use client-side tracking. Native pixels load on the visitor's computer when they visit a hospital website and give you the wealth of information you need for using ad platforms and analytics. But when those pixels load client-side, they also have access to personal identifiers like IP addresses and health information like the page URL.
To cut analytics and ad platforms off from access to PHI, HIPAA-compliant tracking requires server-side connections to be safe. The standard server-side destinations of generic CDPs don't provide the same data and functionality as the client-side native pixels, rendering your downstream tools useless. They may make you safe but won't feed those tools with the data you rely on for your analysis.
Freshpaint has designed a novel form of server-side integration called a proxy integration. Freshpaint's proxy integrations emulate the client-side integration but run on Freshpaint's servers instead. The proxy integration provides the same functionality as if the native tracking pixel was installed directly on your site but without the risk of exposing PHI to non-compliant destinations.
4) 2 Week Implementation
The final part of moving to a Healthcare Privacy Platform is implementation time. If the move to compliance is difficult, people will put it off.
As it stands, most healthcare marketing teams rely on Google Tag Manager to handle their events.
Freshpaint makes it easy to take your existing tags from Google Tag Manager and route them through Freshpaint instead of directly to tools like Facebook and Google Analytics. This allows teams to implement Freshpaint in two weeks or less.
For healthcare providers looking to move away from Google Tag Manager, Freshpaint offers an easy-to-use event management platform and a white glove service to migrate to it.
Freshpaint is built for healthcare providers
If you’re dealing with sensitive data in a healthcare setting, a Healthcare Privacy Platform is a must. It will power the tools you need to achieve your growth goals while keeping you out of the news, off the wall of shame, and clear of lawsuits.
Freshpaint is engineered to make it easy for the marketing teams at healthcare organizations to continue working with the analytics and ad platforms they rely on to promote their services. You can still get all the data and functionality you need, but with the benefit of peace of mind knowing that the data of your visitors or users is secured.
If you’re in healthcare, you need a Healthcare Privacy Platform. That’s because safe by default means having a platform with built-in data governance, automated de-identification, robust server-side connections, and quick implementation. For healthcare providers, a Healthcare Privacy Platform such as Freshpaint is the best path forward.