Healthcare Providers Face Security Challenges

Three-quarters of organizations that conduct formal risk assessments have found patient data at risk, study says.
About 60% of respondents reported their organization spends 3% or less of their organization's IT budget on information security, consistent with the level of spending identified in 2008. Respondents described their environments at a middle rate of maturity, with an average score of 4.27 on a scale where 7 is the most mature. Fewer than half of respondents said their organizations have a formally designated chief information security officer or chief security officer.

Nearly all respondents said their organizations actively work to determine the cause and origin of security breaches. But only half have a plan for responding to threats or incidents related to security breaches, the study said.

Nearly all respondents said their organizations share patient data electronically, mostly with state government entities. Organizations are also likely to share data in the future with Health Information Exchanges and Regional Health Information Organizations (two types of organizations for disseminating e-health records, mandated by ARRA).

A little less than half of these organizations, 41%, "indicated that these sharing arrangements have resulted in the use of additional security controls beyond those that were already in place at their organizations. This is consistent with the data reported in the 2008 survey," HIMSS said.

E-mail encryption and single sign-on were the security technologies not present in organizations that were most likely to be installed in the future, according to the report.

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Blue Cross of Northeast Pennsylvania, the University of Louisville School of Medicine, and a range of large and small healthcare providers are using mobile apps to improve care and help patients manage their health. Find out how. Download the report here (registration required).br

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Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer, Dark Reading
Kelly Jackson Higgins 2, Editor-in-Chief, Dark Reading