Big Questions for Associations – Part 2

Part two in the series inspired by Jeff De Cagna’s March breakfast briefing on associations and mobile technology.  (Read part 1 here.)

Question 2: How will we balance the need for greater intimacy with privacy concerns?

Oh boy, is this one HUGE for healthcare associations – actually, for healthcare in general.  You think you have privacy concerns? Under the rules of HIPAA, if any Protected Health Information is inappropriately shared (even if it was inadvertent), each instance can carry fines of up to $250,000 and/or 10 years’ imprisonment.  YIKES!

And yet healthcare organizations are managing to be active (quite active) in social media spaces, sharing their most compelling and inspiring content – patient stories.  How are they pulling this off?

NACHRI member (of course!) Children’s Hospital Los Angeles provides a great example.  As reported by the Care Networks blog, CHLA uses a 3 step process:

  1. Review their policy on how your story may be used
  2. Review their HIPAA compliance policy
  3. Submit your story through their simple online form (which is then reviewed by staff before being used)

Why does this work so well?  CHLA is completely up front about how they will – and won’t – use patients’ information, they get a positive affirmation from those patients that the patients are OK with playing by CHLA’s rules, and then they let the patients speak in their own voices.  The result?  Transparent, authentic awesomesauce.

How does your organization go about demonstrating that you REALLY know your audiences without being that creepy marketer who seems to be stalking people?

Turns out, Big Brother tactics are NOT such a good idea

Information about people’s attitudes about online privacy, thanks to the Consumers Union

According to the [Consumer’s Union] poll, 82 percent of consumers are concerned about their credit card numbers being stolen online, while 72 percent are concerned that their online behaviors were being tracked and profiled by companies.

Although 68 percent of consumers have provided personal information in order to access a website, 53 percent are uncomfortable with internet companies using their email content or browsing history to send relevant ads, and 54 percent are uncomfortable with third parties collecting information about their online behavior.

What information are you collecting about your members and other constituents? How are you using it? How are you safeguarding it? Do they know?