Beth Israel Deaconess to increase mobile security

By Brian Dolan

John HalamkaCareGroup Health System CIO John Halamka recently wrote about the strategy his facility, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, is pursuing to comply with new Massachusetts Data Protection regulations. The new regs require organizations to take extra precautions to secure information, including data on mobile devices at the work place. (If you are not familiar with Halamka, he holds a number of positions, including Dean for Technology at Harvard Medical School, Chair of the US Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP), and a practicing Emergency Physician.)

Halamka revealed a few interesting metrics during his brief post:

"At BIDMC, we have nearly a 1000 Blackberries and hundreds of iPhones," Halamka wrote. "The Blackberry has well developed enterprise control features, so we're starting our mobile security effort with them... There are an amazing array of settings to secure Blackberries," he continued.

BIDMC has some 3,000 supporting physicians and about 18,000 faculty, according to Halamka's blog Life as a Healthcare CIO, so I am surprised to read that the facility has only 1,000 BlackBerry devices and only "hundreds" of iPhones among its 21,000 workers.

For more on BIDMC's security initiative, read Halamka's blog post here.