Health IT Security Breaches: Thought Leader Predictions for What’s Ahead

Security continues to be a major problem in health IT. The coming year will only bring more breaches and problems that must be addressed by those leading their organizations. In 2013 alone, millions of people were affected by breaches.

Breaches can be attributed to something as simple as a stolen device — flash drives and laptops, for example – to unauthorized access or disclosure of information by health system employees. For example, Healthcare IT News recently reported a four-year long breach by a single employee at the five-hospital Riverside Health System in southeast Virginia.

Health IT security issues are only going to get more pervasive, aggressive and encompassing in the years ahead. So, what can we expect as we look ahead? Here are some predictions about health IT security from the industry’s leading minds:

Doug Mow, CMO, Courion

Doug Mow - CMO
Doug Mow

Remaining in compliance with these codes and regulations, like HIPAA, is key from a security point of view for healthcare organizations. Being compliant and ensuring that only the appropriate healthcare staff members and contract workers have access to the information they need to do their jobs ensures that the information remains secure and does not end up in the wrong hands.

Because of the sensitivity of the information accessed on a daily bases within a healthcare organizations and the number of people accessing the information – doctors, nurses, clinical and admin personnel, and contractors – IT security concerns will be slightly different than the highly publicized breaches we read about, like the recent Target breach that originated outside the organization.

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What Keeps Health IT Leaders Up At Night?: Patient Safety, Automation … and the List Goes On

What keeps health IT leaders up at night? It’s a simple question with millions of different responses. For each one of us, it’s something entirely different. For me, I toss and turn because of a few fairly simple reasons: ensuring my start-up company is bringing in revenue to cover the bills and building it into a sustainable first-class organization, not the mention making sure my family is healthy and secure.

Most likely what keeps me up, keeps health IT leaders up, too, but they likely face a few more complexities than I given the huge responsibility they bear keeping their products in compliance with reform and regulation, and the large number of people their products touch. With all of the activity and rapid change in the ever evolving world of health IT, I decided to ask a few folks what in fact keeps them up at night.

Some of the following responses you might expect; others are a bit surprising.

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