This marks the 32nd year I’ve worked in healthcare. It doesn’t seem like very long ago that I worked as a registered nurse, caring for critically ill patients. Although I’m no longer working at a patient’s bedside, today’s healthcare organizations continue to put patient care first -- starting with transformation in healthcare technology.
Due to increased digitization of patient data and increased collaboration among insurance providers and doctors, IT innovation and integration in healthcare is on the rise. A new survey from Black Book shows that economic factors and government regulations are beginning to nudge independent physician practices to the cloud.
As more move to the cloud, the recent package of HIPAA changes known as the “final omnibus rule” clarifies the legal framework for healthcare organizations to work with cloud services, as David F. Carr highlighted in his recent article in Information Week.
This is a fundamental shift for healthcare organizations that could set precedent for other industries like education, financial services and government. Are you ready for it? Read More »
Join Cisco, Intel, and other leading healthcare and technology organizations for a series of leadership webcasts on October 23-24 that address the top challenges facing healthcare and IT professionals today. The third annual Intel Health & Life Sciences Innovation Summit will focus on relevant topics such as care networking, how mobility expands care from the hospital to the community, and customizing care with big data. This free, unique online event includes:
Get a preview of this online event by listening to Barbara Casey, Senior Executive Director for Healthcare at Cisco, discuss clinical mobility devices and connecting the unconnected.
Breach discovery times: know your discovery tolerance
Your business associate(s)must be tracked
This blog focuses on #6 – Risk Management is Continuous.
You can look at the Risk Management implementation specification as the actions taken in response to the Risk Assessment. The HIPAA Security Rule defines Risk management (Required): “Implement security measures sufficient to reduce risks and vulnerabilities to a reasonable and appropriate level to comply with [§ 164.306(a)]”
(1) Ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all electronic protected health information the covered entity creates, receives, maintains, or transmits.
(2) Protect against any reasonably anticipated threats or hazards to the security or integrity of such information.
(3) Protect against any reasonably anticipated uses or disclosures of such information
One common mistake companies make in compliance programs is taking the approach that once the work is done, the network doesn’t have to be looked at again for compliance. If they put the security programs, processes, and technologies in place, they don’t have to spend time on compliance until next year (or the year after that, or even longer).
This makes compliance a onetime effort that is then ignored. Worse, securing PHI often follows the same path, making it easy to hack and steal, causing a lot of problems for everyone involved. Risk management―reducing risk―needs to be a continuous activity. Through your risk assessment, you’ll know where your PHI is, what your highest risk factors are, and where to implement more continuous risk management tools in the network.
Continuous risk management does not mean tracking every single event on every single device throughout the network. It may mean turning on automatic alerts on critical devices, setting traffic thresholds in network areas where PHI resides, logging anomalous events in those critical areas, and using network management tools to make sense of all this information the network devices are collecting.
Risk management is about a lot more than achieving HIPAA compliance, reducing risk to PHI and helping to prevent theft of PHI is of critical value.
Recommendation: Understand where you should implement continuous risk management, and what logging, alert, detection, and management tools you already have that can help with risk management.
No longer does your organization need to incur the sometimes unreimbursed cost of hiring one-on-one patient sitters, dedicating staff that can be better utilized elsewhere, or imposing on distressed family members to sit by their family member’s bedside around the clock.
With Cisco Virtual Patient Observation, centralized staff can observe multiple high-risk patients over your hospital’s existing network, and quickly alert caregivers if a patient is at risk.
This is one of those rare solutions that can pay for itself in months not years.
If this sounds “too good to be true”, then we invite you to join a live educational webcast that I’m hosting on September 12th at 11PST / 2EST to learn first-hand how HCA’s Clear Lake Regional Medical Center worked with Cisco to integrate Virtual Patient Observation into their operation.
You’ll learn about Clear Lake Regional Medical Center’s approach to implementing Cisco Virtual Patient Observation, the hurdles they encountered, and the lessons they learned along the way to a highly successful implementation and a satisfying ROI.
We’ll hold a live Q&A at the end so you can ask your questions directly of the experts.
Register now to hold your spot. If you can’t make the live webcast on September 12, you’ll want to register anyway so that we can send you the replay link.
In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about Cisco Virtual Patient Observation, here’s how to get started:
If you are planning to attend the American Telemedicine Association Fall Forum at the Sheraton Centre in downtown Toronto, be sure to make time to visit the Cisco booth. I will be on hand, along with key members of the Cisco Canadian healthcare team, and we look forward to discussing your upcoming telehealth projects.