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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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Can the IoE Revolutionize Alternative Medicine?

November 1, 2013 at 11:35 am PST

The other week I found myself chatting with a fellow healthcare (and Cisco) enthusiast on Twitter about alternative medicine and I experienced an Aha! moment – alternative medicine may soon have an entirely new face if it’s driven by consumer adoption of advanced (and in many cases, currently available) technologies.

@petra1400

Let me explain. I recently wrote a post about the true price of affordable healthcare, which focused on the innovative technologies that will help make healthcare more efficient overall by incorporating dynamic monitoring techniques as a means of prophylactic care. When I wrote that post, I didn’t realize I was actually describing a new age of alternative medicine!

When most of us think of alternative medicine (myself included), we initially associate it with traditional homeopathic remedies and elements from Eastern medicine like acupuncture and herbal therapies. Read More »

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Summary What Moving to the Cloud Means for Healthcare Organizations

November 1, 2013 at 10:50 am PST

A lot of our data center customers are in the healthcare industry --  This topic is close to my heart, as I used to work in this field several years ago. Healthcare organization are facing specific challenges  in moving to the cloud, that Cisco and partners address carefully.

IT innovation and integration in healthcare is on the rise, causing a fundamental shift for healthcare organizations. As economic factors and government regulations begin to push more and more independent physician practices to the cloud, healthcare organizations now work with cloud service providers and share the responsibility to meet regulatory demands set forth in the recent package of HIPAA changes.  So what does this move to the cloud mean for healthcare organizations?

According to Kathy English, Global Senior Director for Cisco,

“As more healthcare professionals move to the cloud, IT organizations need to evaluate how to federate public cloud services with their private cloud efforts. This type of transformation will require organizations to look beyond just building a private cloud. They need to build and buy a secure, scalable, and reliable network that supports privacy, high availability, and mobility, all while meeting cost targets.”

It is clear that the new HIPAA regulations require a more shared responsibility between IT and service providers, but with a certified Cisco Powered cloud provider, healthcare organizations can be empowered to expand both their private and public cloud solutions.

Read the full What Moving to the Cloud Means for Healthcare Organizations blog post to learn more and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag, #CiscoCloud . We’d love to hear from you!

 

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What Moving to the Cloud Means for Healthcare Organizations

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.

HealthcareDue 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 »

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Care Networking, Care Anywhere, Care Customization

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:

  • Live webcasts
  • Networking opportunities
  • Live interaction
  • White papers
  • Case studies

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.

Register for the 2013 Intel Health & Life Sciences Innovation Summit webcast series on October 23-24 to hear more about how mobility can expand care from the hospital to the community.

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