Posts in Category: HIPAA

Healthcare providers tackle data security issues 

The proliferation of cyberattacks on healthcare providers is well known, with new reports continuing to highlight the problem.

More than 216 hospitals were included in 1,798 breaches between Oct. 21, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2016, according to a report last week in The Journal of the American Medical Association. Additionally, 33 hospitals, or 15 percent, reported more than one breach. Of the 141 affected acute care hospitals, 52 were major academic medical centers.

... read more
 

Clinician mobile device use increasing as healthcare organizations struggle to protect data 

The number of clinicians who use smartphones and other mobile devices on the job is rising rapidly, and so is the number of facilities that have created mobile device management strategies to cope. "Organizations with a documented mobility strategy have nearly doubled, and in-house use of pagers has increased slightly during the past two years," according to Health Data Management. Almost 90 percent of physicians surveyed reported using smartphones, while about half of nurses and other staff members use them. In response, more than 60 percent of hospitals surveyed have a documented mobile device strategy. (The survey, by mobile messaging service vendor Spok, included responses from about 550 hospitals.) The leading mobile devices used in hospitals are: Smartphones (78 percent) In-house pagers (71 percent) Wi-Fi phones (69 percent) Wide-area pagers (57 percent) Tablets (52 percent) Security and privacy, of course, are huge concerns for those setting mobile... read more
 

Healthcare Cybersecurity Failings Draw the Ire of Accountability Office 

GAO Recommends Corrective Action by Department of Health and Human Services More than 113 million electronic health records were breached in 2015, a year that saw a total of 56 cybersecurity attacks in healthcare alone. That's a 13-fold increase from 2006 to 2015. The Government Accountability Office isn't going to let those cybersecurity failures go unremarked upon. The GAO last week came down hard on the Department of Health and Human Services, pointing out a number of weaknesses in efforts by HHS to help health plans and other providers protect data. "HHS has established an oversight program for compliance with privacy and security regulations, but its actions did not always fully verify that the regulations were implemented," wrote the GAO in a report released Sept. 26. The report also called out HHS for giving technical assistance "that was not pertinent to identified problems" in cybersecurity, and for failing to follow up on cases it investigated. In short, the GAO... read more
 

The best of healthcare news, week of 11/30/15 

The future of healthcare, according to one cardiologist In the future, smart phones might help prevent heart attacks and strokes. That's according to Eric Topol, MD, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, who wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal. Topol predicts that patients will use their smart phones to provide doctors with continuous data on themselves, as opposed to waiting for office visits--a practice that would provide for earlier diagnosis and treatment. Doctor strikes don't increase patient deaths In wealthy countries, patient mortality doesn't suffer because of work stoppages by physicians, according to a new study published in The BMJ. Mortality rates even fell during some strikes. Researchers theorized that patient mortality didn't increase during strikes because hospitals cancelled elective surgeries and continued to offer emergency care, among other reasons. They also noted that many doctors continued to work... read more
 
Posted by 12/02/2015 Categories: healthcare reform HIPAA hospital management

Vast Majority of Surveyed Hospitals Experience Breaches 

(Photo credit: Credit: Flickr/Mr. Cacahuate) Ninety-four percent of hospitals responding to a recent survey experienced a data breach in the past two years, according to the Ponemon Institute. Forty-five percent of these hospitals indicated that their data was breached more than five times – an increase from 2010 when the percentage of respondents indicating more than five breaches was 29 percent. With the potential for penalties under HIPAA, the cost of notifying stakeholders and civil suite awards, the possibility these hospitals could be stuck with millions in costs due to data breaches is staggering. Even more discouraging, those hospitals that had not joined a health information exchange (HIE) cite low or lack of confidence in data security as the number one reason they were reluctant to share information within organizations. As the move to electronic health records (EHR) continues, what measures is your organization taking to ensure patient data security? read more