But this was not without a lot of drafts and discussion… and even a little sacrifice.
We want to provide everything to everyone so that all stakeholders get the best results across the board. But leaning too far in one direction comes at a cost for someone else. For example, if we gave practice-specific sales data to a supplier about a product, the sales rep for the supplier could hound the practice: “You’re selling more of our competitor’s stuff than ours!” The practices would shut us down very quickly, and would be justified to do so.
Why fuss over privacy when pet health is not covered by HIPAA or similar laws?
Short answer: It doesn’t matter what the laws do or don’t cover. Perception is reality. Pet owners rightfully expect vet practices to keep their personally identifiable information (PII) secure. They also expect – right, wrong or indifferent – that their pets’ medical records will be kept private. As described above, practices don’t want to divulge too much identifiable data to their suppliers or distributors. And suppliers naturally don’t want their market share data broadcast to competitors.
Focusing on business results
What we learned from our quest to please all parties is that when it comes to data privacy, the best approach is to prioritize business goals and focus on how to accomplish them with the most minimal disclosure. Sure, there are all kinds of opportunities to tell stories from massive amounts of data and turn them into productive exercises. But not by forsaking the trust and relationships with the stakeholders. There’s almost always a way to find a solution – if the end goals are defined.
About Pet Cause Media
Pet Cause Media improves veterinary practice outcomes using integrated communication tools. It is the national leader in Veterinary Pre-Education Technology™ and digital stakeholder awareness for veterinary offices. Visit our website (petcausemedia.com) for more details.