Privacy and Security

As more providers are using digital data, privacy and security issues have become a greater concern. Protecting confidential patient information is also a priority for IT vendors, who are interested in offering solutions that come equipped with heightened security features. The industry-wide transition to HIPAA 5010 code set comes with heightened emphasis on privacy of patient data content in provider transactions, since 5010 aims to ensure that only the "minimum necessary" personal health information required for business purposes is included in a transaction.

RELATED STORIES:
Privacy hindering EHR progress, say researchers
HHS proposes new privacy, security rules

 
More than 60 percent of all industries worldwide embrace BYOD, says Mac McMillan, CEO of the information security company CynergisTek and chairman of the HIMSS Privacy and Security Task Force. In healthcare, that number stands at around 85 percent, with 92 percent of that number saying personal mobile devices are in use multiple times every day.
June 25, 2014
News
As myriad healthcare organizations have attested, the aftermath of a HIPAA violation generally isn't a pretty sight, especially when it comes to one's bank account. One Indiana-based health system has witnessed this reality after being slapped with an $800,000 settlement for violating the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
June 24, 2014
News
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has launched a federal probe into HIPAA privacy violations at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, according to an HHS spokesperson.
June 24, 2014
News
Data attacks on healthcare organizations have increased a whopping 100 percent from just four years ago, a reality that has chief security and information officers in a dash to stay ahead of the data protection curve.
June 23, 2014
News
In one of her first orders of business as new Health and Human Services Secretary, Sylvia Mathews Burwell has made management changes aimed at ensuring that HealthCare.gov is robust enough to handle the upcoming open enrollment period.
June 23, 2014
News
Some 90 percent of healthcare organizations have reported at least one data breach in the past two years, with more than a third seeing more than five breaches. Gerry Hinkley, partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman's healthcare practice, says breach response is where many make major missteps, mistakes that can easily be avoided.
June 20, 2014
News
More than 20,000 patients seen at a San Diego hospital are getting HIPAA breach notification letters after employees on two separate occasions emailed protected health information to job applicants by mistake. One incident occurred nearly two years ago.
June 19, 2014
News
It's not just the thought of having a data security breach that concerns Kaiser Permanente's Jim Doggett. It's the far-reaching damage such an event could wreak that really keeps him up at night.
June 17, 2014
News
Eighty percent of respondents to the inaugural 2014 HIMSS Analytics Cloud Survey say they currently use cloud-based IT services, for everything from human resources technology to data backup and disaster recovery. Still qualms about performance and privacy persist.
June 17, 2014
News
Imagine if almost everyone walking into your hospital -- patients, doctors, visitors, salespeople -- was carrying an active homing beacon, which broadcast, unencrypted, their presence and repeatedly updated exact location to anyone who chose to listen.
June 16, 2014
News
As anyone who's ever worked for IT security can attest, the job is no walk in the park. New threats, compliance mandates, vulnerabilities and updates are constant. But with strong leadership, and a culture of compliance and responsibility to match, many healthcare organizations have shown it can be done right -- and well.
June 13, 2014
News
A Northern California hospital is reevaluating its security policies after an unencrypted USB drive containing the protected health information of nearly 34,000 patients was stolen from an employee's unlocked locker.
June 13, 2014
News
Memorial Hermann needed a more efficient way to process 32,000 user access requests per year to key healthcare and enterprise applications, and better controls around access provided to 20,000 employees including caregivers, employees and temporary workers spread throughout greater Houston, while demonstrating regulatory compliance — primarily with HIPAA and <a href="/directory/health-information-technology-economic-and-clinical-health-hitech-act" target="_blank" class="directory-item-link">HITECH</a>. With the Courion identity and access management suite, Memorial Hermann is now able to perform timely user attestations, streamline compliance, increase operational efficiency and strengthen security.
October 8, 2012
Resource
sites/default/files/resource-media/pdf/casestudy_mhhs_courion.pdf
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HealthSpring is one of the country’s largest and fastest growing providers of <a href="/directory/medicare" target="_blank" class="directory-item-link">Medicare</a> Advantage health care plans with more than one million members in 11 states and the District of Columbia. To improve the accuracy, speed and scalability of its compliance program, HealthSpring chose Courion. The Courion suite is integrated with all of HealthSpring’s critical information technology systems, including its PeopleSoft <a href="/directory/enterprise-resource-planning" target="_blank" class="directory-item-link">enterprise resource planning</a> (ERP), claims processing and membership management systems.
October 8, 2012
Resource
sites/default/files/resource-media/pdf/casestudy_healthspring_courion.pdf
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With sensitive data being continually accessed across the enterprise, the web, and mobile devices, organizations are constantly facing the challenge of protecting their critical assets such as employee and patient data – all of which impact their reputations and their bottom lines. Healthcare organizations in particular need to ensure only the right people have the right access to the right information at the right time. That’s the objective of an access risk management strategy.
October 8, 2012
Resource
sites/default/files/resource-media/pdf/white_paper_access_risk_management_courion.pdf
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Hospitals and medical offices are busy places. Ever wonder how easy it would be for someone to walk out with an office laptop or mobile device? Not only do patients expect confidentiality of their medical records but government regulations like HIPAA demand it. The theft of laptops, computers and mobile devices is a common cause of data breaches and physical security is a highly effective first line of defense.
October 8, 2012
Resource
sites/default/files/resource-media/pdf/kensington_white_paper_080612.pdf
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By taking a comprehensive approach to systems management, healthcare providers’ IT departments can significantly reduce the amount of time required to perform routine maintenance tasks, therefore improving productivity. These time savings allow IT departments to shift staff to more value added activities that help support the business and reachstrategic goals.
September 19, 2012
Resource
sites/default/files/resource-media/pdf/realizing_the_return.pdf
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This white paper provides a brief overview of HIPAA regulations and how healthcare organizations are using technology to assist with compliance. Many traditional document handling processes do not comply with HIPAA regulations for privacy and security. The whitepaper discusses network faxing, explores advantages for implementing a network fax solution to support HIPAA compliance initiatives and to improve the security and overall efficiency of the document transmission processes.
September 11, 2012
Resource
sites/default/files/resource-media/pdf/hipaa_healthcare_transformation_to_electronic_communications.pdf
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As more and more hospitals work to incorporate smartphones into their communication network, they have learned important lessons that can help other facilities make a smooth transition. At the end of the day, the goal is to get the right message, to the right person, on the right device, at the right time.
September 4, 2012
Resource
sites/default/files/resource-media/pdf/wp-us-6-lessons-hospital-smartphone-integration.pdf
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Specialty medicine practices rarely employ a dedicated information technology resource. Durham Nephrology is no exception. The Durham practice navigated the uncharted waters of attesting to <a href="/directory/meaningful-use" target="_blank" class="directory-item-link">Meaningful Use</a> under <a href="/directory/health-information-technology-economic-and-clinical-health-hitech-act" target="_blank" class="directory-item-link">the HITECH Act</a> of 2009 without the benefit of an IT expert or outside consultant. They implemented an <a href="/directory/electronic-health-record-ehr" target="_blank" class="directory-item-link">EHR</a> system in 2003 and believed that an EHR was the only long-term, effective way to organize patient charts and clinical notes. Read this story to find out this resourceful team achieved their goals--and more.
September 4, 2012
Resource
sites/default/files/resource-media/pdf/pro100_proehr_durham_nephrology_associates_nephrology_nc_success_story_10_19_11.pdf
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As doctors and hospitals fight for the lives of their patients, they find themselves drowning in a sea of paperwork. Healthcare workers struggle daily to communicate patient information quickly and securely while complying with numerous insurance policies and industry regulations. Now, with demand from the White House to demonstrate "<a href="/directory/meaningful-use" target="_blank" class="directory-item-link">meaningful use</a>", the incentive to invest in communications technology has never been greater. This report by Smith Ivanson explores the top communication challenges Healthcare organizations face today, and why many of them are turning to Fax Servers to send, receive, and store <a href="/directory/electronic-health-record-ehr" target="_blank" class="directory-item-link">EHRs</a>.
August 29, 2012
Resource
sites/default/files/resource-media/pdf/security__compliance_top_drivers_for_fax_server_adoption_in_healthcare.pdf
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As healthcare organizations develop strategies to comply with federal mandates and succeed in the new environment, wireless is one of the emerging technologies that can enable organizations to meet their clinical and business objectives, especially in this era of having to do more with a finite set of resources. This paper, featuring results from a Healthcare IT News online survey from June and July 2012, discusses current usage of wireless data technology in healthcare and identifies areas of demand and the potential benefits of wireless solutions and strategies.
August 29, 2012
Resource
sites/default/files/resource-media/pdf/sprint_executive_summary_august_2012.pdf
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Every HIM initiative - especially clinical documentation - relies on a single common thread for success: the availability and integrity of the right data to drive the correct decisions and follow-on actions. Capturing accurate, complete quality clinical documentation is the most critical and fundamental component in providing quality care, and ultimately has the biggest connection to generating revenue. This white paper describes the risks associated with the lack of a core HIT strategy; identifies HIT strategies that can help manage the complex clinical documentation challenges associated with ICD-10, RAC and ACOs; and provides an overview of existing and emerging technologies that have significant impact on addressing these challenges.
August 2, 2012
Resource
sites/default/files/resource-media/pdf/white_paper-perfect_storm.pdf
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Structured and unstructured information are valuable assets that allow companies to make informed business decisions. As a common practice, companies have adopted back office systems and CRM as part of their IT infrastructure to address structured information that’s commonly found in databases. While CRM lays the foundation for the IT infrastructure it does not address the unstructured data that can be found between core systems.
June 22, 2012
Resource
sites/default/files/resource-media/pdf/whitepaper_champaign2.pdf
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In the first national study to examine care at critical access hospitals (CAHs) in rural areas of the U.S., Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers found that CAHs have fewer clinical capabilities, lower quality of care, and worse patient outcomes compared with other hospitals.
July 8, 2011
Blog
Being in healthcare IT, and inspired all the time by the optimism and the opportunities technology has provided us, I thought that collecting my personal health information would be a fairly simple and straightforward task. Instead, the wide range of service I was provided when simply trying to collect my medical records was quite an eye opening experience.
June 23, 2011
Blog
Topic 3 on the June 20 #HITsm Tweetchat got into discussions of who owns patient data. The moral high ground today seems to be towards "patient ownership." Reality is just a bit different, and I think the discussion of ownership is not all that useful.
June 22, 2011
Blog
If you’re reading this blog, you most likely saw the pop-up/interstitial Intel ad that asks “Is Cloud Computing Right for You?” Steve Jobs apparently thinks so.
June 7, 2011
Blog
HIPAA regulations long on the books require that covered entities provide patients with accounting of disclosures of their protected health information for any purpose other than treatment, payment or health care operations (TPO). The HITECH Act upped the ante, requiring accounting of disclosures of PHI for TPO as well.
June 2, 2011
Blog
At one time or another, you may have heard a book titled, “All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” by Robert Fulghum. Robert’s lessons translate into my professional world.
May 25, 2011
Blog
It's been a bad month for the cloud.
May 16, 2011
Blog
One of the biggest ongoing debates in the HIT world is how best to protect digitized health information.
May 4, 2011
Blog
While conducting research for the long overdue and nearly completed report on Personal Health Clouds (Dossia, Google Health and HealthVault) came across a recently published report by the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) addressing cloud computing security.
December 10, 2009
Blog
The concepts of “security” and “privacy” of medical information (Protected Health Information, or PHI) are closely intertwined.
September 25, 2009
Blog
When I lecture about the new generation of personal health records such as Google Health and Microsoft Healthvault, I emphasize that these applications are not covered by HIPAA.
January 4, 2009
Blog
Egypt's crisis has raised alarms about national security and economic impact for Americans if regime change leads to an anti-US government controlling a strong ally in the Middle East. This crisis raises another more personal concern for Americans that has been overlooked by the national media: The security and availability of your electronic medical records in the event of a government-imposed "kill switch" for the Internet.
February 15, 2011
Blog