HIPAA

By Neil Versel 04:10 am September 13, 2012
An ePHI-less text message. Are vendors of secure text-messaging technology trying to sell people a bridge in Brooklyn, or is there a loophole in the somewhat outdated HIPAA privacy and security regulations that few have taken advantage of? The answer is unclear. Dr. Michael Koriwchak, an otolaryngologist in Atlanta, raised the question last week on his Wired EMR Practice blog by calling secure...
By Neil Versel 07:01 am August 27, 2012
Newly finalized rules for Stage 2 of the "meaningful use" electronic health records (EHR) incentive program take into consideration some of the ways mobile technology has changed how healthcare professionals and patients access health information. Notably, the 672-page rule, which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released Thursday, requires providers to conduct a risk...
By Neil Versel 07:42 am August 8, 2012
The Department of Veterans Affairs has mostly met a new requirement, in place since March 31, that all of its laptop computers have encrypted hard drives. Currently, 99 percent laptops used by VA personnel are encrypted, according to CIO Roger Baker. "We see on a regular basis reports that come in in our morning brief to the secretary that report a laptop that was stolen or a laptop that is...
By Neil Versel 04:15 am July 26, 2012
With the bring-your-own-device trend showing no signs of abating and mixed messages coming from government regulators, healthcare organizations are struggling mightily with how to secure patient data on tablets, smartphones, laptops and even wireless medical devices. Different federal agencies see security through different prisms. The Drug Enforcement Agency, part of the Department of Justice,...
By Neil Versel 02:44 am July 12, 2012
New pager-replacement Android and Apple iOS apps from Zipit Wireless, a Greenville, S.C.-based maker of wireless IP devices and software, not only add paging capabilities to smartphones, but allow hospitals to get a better handle on many forms of staff communication. On Thursday, Zipit introduced the two apps, branded as Zipit Confirm, and also announced a significant partnership with Verizon...
By Neil Versel 12:38 pm June 15, 2012
ONC's Dr. Farzad Mostashari Most mobile phones on the market today meet no more than 40 percent of security requirements -- such as those called for by HIPAA or proposed "meaningful use" Stage 2 standards -- in the out-of-the-box configurations, according to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. And even after being manually configured, only iPhone and...
By Neil Versel 02:23 am May 24, 2012
I'm getting a sense that a lot of people in health IT in general and mobile health in particular are losing sight of the big picture. This isn't about making a quick buck, exploiting the prevailing inefficient fee-for-service environment or impressing young, healthy people with flashy apps. It's about saving lives, preventing harmful errors and building a smarter, safer health system. Do the...
By Neil Versel 02:52 am April 26, 2012
Videoconferencing service provider Vidyo, a growing presence in healthcare because it provides high-quality video with low latency and as encryption to HIPAA standards, is about to get bigger, particularly when it comes to mobile and wireless health. Hackensack, N.J.-based Vidyo is teaming up with Royal Philips Electronics to offer a communications and collaboration platform that includes remote...
By Neil Versel 03:21 am April 12, 2012
There's a lot of talk out there about text messaging not being appropriate for many healthcare uses. The usual excuses are that SMS is not secure to healthcare standards, that you can't really prioritize delivery of text messages and that there is no way to "escalate" texts if earlier messages aren't acted upon. Those are all valid points. In particular, anything involving personally identifiable...
By Neil Versel 12:29 pm February 27, 2012
Hospital CIOs, or at least some of the best hospital CIOs, seem to get it. The others need to get on the ball, fast. "If you don't have mobility in your strategy, then you don't have a strategy," Susan Heichert, senior VP and CIO at Allina Health System, a 10-hospital system based in Minneapolis, said at the 2012 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference in Las...