Expect Privacy and Security Focus at HIMSS16

Guest post by Adam Hawkins, vice president client services, CynergisTek.

Adam Hawkins
Adam Hawkins

HIMSS 2016 is right around the corner, and I’m sure everyone is excited about the prospects of conferencing in Las Vegas. This location certainly has a lot going on to keep everyone busy, on and off the exhibit floor. There should be many new healthcare technology players to see and learn about, and it is always interesting to visit the innovation area. Hopefully, we’ll get to hear what folks like KLAS, HIMSS Analytics and other research organizations are working on in 2016 as well.

For instance, KLAS is continuing its work toward including security vendors as its own category, and has a new study underway to look at service providers in this space. That study won’t be completed in time for HIMSS, but they should be able to preview what they hope to accomplish with the study and what its report will include. I think it will be an important read for everyone in our industry.

Interoperability is a huge area of concentration in healthcare at the moment with the Office of the National Coordinator, Health & Human Services and HIMSS all very much involved in this discussion. There are sure to be several presentations on this and related topics. Hopefully we will hear how security and privacy will be addressed, as they are critical components of making many of our health initiatives successful and rely heavily on interoperability for success.

Population health is also likely to be a large factor in this conversation, and it will be interesting to see how the various vendors with solutions in this space are addressing the important issue of access control and identity management.

We continue to hear about the many breaches and hacking incidents occurring in healthcare so I look forward to seeing how many presentations speak to understanding these threats and what vendors are doing to ensure their solutions contribute to a secure environment. One huge area of risk for healthcare involves the thousands of devices and technologies currently being lumped under the Internet of Things heading. Everything from HVAC systems to USBs to smart devices to wearable technologies can and are increasing the risks to patient information while simultaneously enabling new and innovative ways to deliver care. Big Data is all about faster and faster processing speeds…speeds never before imagined, let alone seen in this industry. This computing power will require more advanced security solutions to protect the data. It will be interesting to hear how these vendors and security solution providers are preparing to address this need.

Whatever your interest, there is sure to be plenty to see, hear and learn as once again we all come together as an extended healthcare information community. I look forward to seeing you there.


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