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Cisco Brings Joy for One Very Special Family Reunion

Every year for the last seven years, Cisco and its Santa Connection program have brought video collaboration technologies to hospitals across North America for child patients to virtually connect with Santa Claus in the North Pole.

The children get the opportunity to ask Santa what they want for Christmas either by video chatting on iPads using Cisco Jabber or through Cisco TelePresence and mobile carts. For these children, it’s a chance to enjoy the holiday season during their hospital stay.

Cisco Santa Connection 2013This year, Santa visited U.C. Davis Children’s Hospital virtually on December 12, and spoke with several of the kids – each with unique requests for what they wanted for Christmas.

But one boy named William, who’d been staying at U.C. Davis due to a recent injury, asked Santa for something really special. When it was his turn, he told Santa that all he wanted for Christmas was for his father to come home from Cairo, Egypt.

William’s father has been stationed overseas in the military, but little did William know that his father had been granted leave to come home to see him. So Cisco and U.C. Davis thought they could make their reunion extra special.

On December 19, during William’s dad’s flight back from Cairo, Cisco asked Santa to make a special visit to see William. Santa then brought an iPad to William’s bedside for a call with his dad. Santa told William his dad was currently at the embassy of Cairo – only the call “mysteriously” dropped.

Santa then told William instead to close his eyes and wish for his Dad to be there in person. And just seconds later, William’s dad came through the door!

Needless to say, William, his dad and the rest of the family were overjoyed to have everyone together again.

We were so pleased that Cisco, the U.C. Davis Children’s Hospital staff and Santa helped to make William’s wish come true just in time for Christmas!

 

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Santa visits Children’s Hospitals using Cisco Video Technology

December is here and that means that Santa Claus is putting the final touches on his list and checking it twice. For the seventh year, Cisco is teaming up with hospitals across the Americas to provide children who are hospitalized during the holidays the opportunity to show Santa what good little boys and girls they’ve been (and let him know what tops their wish list). From Canada, down to the United States and Latin America, Santa will virtually visit hospitals from his post at the North Pole, making cyber-stops by way of the magic of the latest mobile and collaboration technologies.

Santa Visits Hospitalized Children (photo courtesy of American Family Children's Hospital)

Santa Visits Hospitalized Children (photo courtesy of American Family Children’s Hospital)

Approximately 50 hospitals throughout the Americas, with the help of Cisco and our partners, will bring a live feed of the North Pole to their patients – using either an iPad, or a video monitor and web-enabled camera. Santa will visit with children in the hospital’s playroom, and for those who don’t feel well enough to leave their room, a mobile cart or iPad enabled with Cisco Jabber® software will help Santa travel for a bedside visit.

Much like children who are able to sit on Santa’s lap, patients will have the opportunity to pass along their wishes this holiday season in plenty of time for St. Nick to make his list and check it twice.

Cisco is proud to be able to touch the lives of these children with the hope and happiness of a personalized visit with Santa using Cisco technologies. View the full list of hospitals that are participating in the 2013 Cisco Santa Connection Program. 

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9 of 9 HIPAA Network Considerations

The HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule is now in effect and audits will continue in 2014. The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights has stated several times that both Covered Entities and Business Associates will be audited.  And the scope of Business Associates has greatly expanded.  I wrote another blog directed towards these new Business Associates.  This final blog of this series focuses on covered entities that work with business associates.

  1. HIPAA Audits will continue
  2. The HIPAA Audit Protocol and NIST 800-66 are your best preparation
  3. Knowledge is a powerful weapon―know where your PHI is
  4. Ignorance is not bliss
  5. Risk Assessment drives your baseline
  6. Risk Management is continuous
  7. Security best practices are essential
  8. Breach discovery times: know your discovery tolerance
  9. Your business associate(s)must be tracked

The HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule changed the Business Associate definition, and also makes Business Associates obligated to comply with HIPAA.  You most likely will have more business associates than previously, and those business associates that have access to your network and/or your PHI data are obligated to be HIPAA compliant.    The Ponemon Institute’s Third Annual Benchmark Study on Patient Privacy and Data Security (December 2012), reveals that 42% of the breaches involved a third party “snafu”.

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8 of 9 HIPAA Network Considerations

Discovering a breach where ePHI has been stolen certainly falls into the ‘not a good day at work’ category.  It can be catastrophic for some, especially if the compromise occurred months ago and wasn’t detected.  Or if a 3rd party discovered the breach for you, which occurs more often than we think, 47-51% from 2010 – 2012 based on the Ponemon Institutes 3rd Annual Benchmark Study on Patent Privacy and Data Security.

On our list of 9 HIPAA Network Considerations, we are onto topic #8, Breach discovery times: know your discovery tolerance.

  1. HIPAA Audits will continue
  2. The HIPAA Audit Protocol and NIST 800-66 are your best preparation
  3. Knowledge is a powerful weapon―know where your PHI is
  4. Ignorance is not bliss
  5. Risk Assessment drives your baseline
  6. Risk Management is continuous
  7. Security best practices are essential
  8. Breach discovery times: know your discovery tolerance
  9. Your business associate(s)must be tracked

From the 2013 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, two thirds of the compromises were not discovered for months, or longer.  What is your tolerance for “not knowing?”  Can that discovery time tolerance be justified through reasonable due diligence, or are you back at the “ignorance is bliss” phase (blog #4), which could be interpreted as Willful Neglect in the case of a breach of PHI?

Source: Verizon 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report

Source: Verizon 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report

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7 of 9 HIPAA Network Considerations

The HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule is now in effect and audits will continue in 2014. At the HIMSS Privacy and Security Forum in Boston on Sept. 23, Leon Rodriguez, director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights said to those who are wondering how the new rule will be enforced: “You’ll see a picture of where we’ll spend our energies” based on previous enforcement actions.  Enforcement actions to date have focused on cases involving major security failures, where a breach incident led to investigations that revealed larger systemic issues, Rodriguez said.

On our list of 9 HIPAA Network Considerations, it is timely that our topic in this blog is on #7, Security best practices are essential.

  1. HIPAA Audits will continue
  2. The HIPAA Audit Protocol and NIST 800-66 are your best preparation
  3. Knowledge is a powerful weapon―know where your PHI is
  4. Ignorance is not bliss
  5. Risk Assessment drives your baseline
  6. Risk Management is continuous
  7. Security best practices are essential
  8. Breach discovery times: know your discovery tolerance
  9. Your business associate(s)must be tracked

The general rule for the HIPAA Security Rule is to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of ePHI that is created, received, maintained, or transmitted [45 CFR 164.306(a)].  Protect against threats to PHI.  That relates directly to network security best practices.  In the 2012 HIPAA audits, security had more than its share of findings and observations, accounting for 60% of the HIPAA audit findings and observations, even though the Security Rule accounted for only 28% of the audit questions.  At the NIST OCR Conference in May, OCR presented the summary below.

7 of 9

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