Safeguarding Patient Trust: Best Practices for Pharmacy Data Security

With the rise of cyber threats, safeguarding patient data isn't just good pharmacy practice — it's a business necessity and legal and ethical obligation. Recent industry events have been clear (and sometimes painful) demonstrations that we must all keep data security top of mind.

Read on for some best practices to help your pharmacy fortify defenses and protect patient trust, as well as the ways RedSail Technologies is helping.

Educate Staff – And Keep Up the Training

Data security starts with awareness. Train your pharmacy staff on the importance of safeguarding patient data and educate them about common cyber threats like phishing emails and malware. CISA’s website is a good resource. Ensure staff understands their role in maintaining data security and emphasize the potential consequences – give them examples of what can happen.

Cyber threats are shapeshifters, always evolving. It's important that someone be responsible, whether internal IT staff or your pharmacy software vendor, for keeping tabs on what's new in the world of security.

Implement Secure Systems and Networks

Hopefully, you are already invested in secure pharmacy software that protects patient data and provides access controls; this article on pharmacy security for PioneerRx users is definitely worth a read. You’ll also be reassured to know that PowerLine, the RedSail Technologies pharmacy claims switch used by PioneerRx and QS/1 customers, is built on world-class, cloud-native architecture. The platform is architected to scale to any required transaction volume while maintaining best-in-industry speed, security, and HIPAA-compliant services.

Your software vendor should take a proactive approach to monitoring potential security threats, detecting and responding to security incidents in real-time. Ask if they have an incident response plan outlining how they’ll address any security breaches promptly and effectively. It’s ideal if your software partner holds highly stringent security certifications like HITRUST and DirectTrust.

But this is not a “set and forget” thing. You must also ensure your software is regularly updated and security patches installed to address vulnerabilities promptly. Make sure your Wi-Fi connection is secured, and if you’re responsible for any networks in your pharmacy, you’ll need to maintain firewalls.

Also, are you or your PMS vendor implementing regular data backups to ensure that patient information is protected in the event of a cyber attack or system failure? These backups should be stored in a secure location, preferably off-site or in the cloud, to prevent data loss due to physical damage or theft.

Insist on Strong Passwords and Access Policies

Enforce strong password policies, like the Common Identity Service update coming soon to RedSail products. Require employees to use complex passwords that include a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Mandate regular password changes and prohibit the sharing of passwords among staff members. Pharmacy software like Axys LTC, which has implemented Single Sign On (SSO), stands out for making this all easier.

You’ll also need to implement role-based access controls to restrict access to data records based on job roles and responsibilities. Conduct regular audits to ensure that access permissions are up-to-date, and revoke access for employees who no longer require it; you might want to set a regular calendar reminder.


By implementing these best practices, pharmacies can enhance their data security posture and mitigate the risk of data breaches. Prioritizing data security helps protect patient privacy and trust and safeguards the pharmacy's reputation and integrity. In today's interconnected world, where cyber threats are ever-present, investing in robust data security measures — and choosing software partners who uphold them – is essential for a pharmacy’s sustainability and long-term success.

Written by:
Emily Smith
Product Marketing Manager, RedSail Technologies
Emily Smith

Emily loves to learn and connect ideas in new ways, with a focus on customers' needs and empathy for their challenges. In her role as RedSail product marketing manager, Emily educates on innovation and encourages its use to improve pharmacy care.

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