HIMSS study suggests healthcare IT security needs tightening

Although forward progress in healthcare IT practices such as the pervasiveness of electronic medical records, electronic billing and eprescribing are contributing to the advancement of the medical industry, hosting such a volume of confidential patient data electronically can produce serious security implications.

For example, as recently reported in this blog, a breach of Medicaid information at a Utah healthcare facility has been estimated to have affected 800,000 people, with nearly 300,000 Social Security numbers exposed.

In the wake of this large-scale incident, HIMSS released its "2012 HIMSS Analytics Report: Security of Patient Data," with the crux of the research indicating that enhanced measures need to be taken to optimize patient security.

According to the study, of the 250 patient data experts polled, nearly 30 percent reported that they had experienced a data breach in the last year.

"While increased regulation and better-articulated guidance have led to increases in privacy and security measures within hospitals, they also have contributed to a false sense of security within organizations that comply with these mandates," state the study's researchers. "Despite the increase in the number of breach incidents reported, most hospitals continue to believe that if they are more prepared, they are more secure."

Considering these results, it would be a wise choice for facility managers to increase their security measures by partnering with a medical technology consulting firm that can provide useful medical practice management software like Allscripts MyWay. By taking this measure, medical tech professionals can train facility managers how to use the software for superior practice monitoring, affording a superior ability to detect irregularities in the network and keep close watch on any staff negligence.

Microwize Technology is a leading healthcare IT consultant offering products such as electronic medical records software and medical billing software from top providers like Allscripts and McKesson, including McKesson's Medisoft, Lytec and Practice Choice products.