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Healthcare CIOs must remain diligent in information security practices

May 22, 2013
Compliance By LW Consulting Inc.

Remaining HIPAA compliant is essential for healthcare organizations of all sizes. No patient wants his or her information exposed and no CIO wants to face hefty fines for inadvertently releasing sensitive data.

Working with a firm that specializes in healthcare IT consulting can be especially beneficial, as these professionals can ensure that the transition to new technologies runs smoothly and without data breaches. That is one step that healthcare CIOs need to take, according to Harry Greenspan, a technology specialist with Deloitte Center for Health Solutions.

In a recent interview with Healthcare Info Security, Greenspan said that as data becomes more readily available to medical facilities, they must concurrently update their security policies. It is a combination of predicting what challenges could possibly arise, and how healthcare organizations can respond. 

According to Greenspan, the amount of data that is now flowing in and out of organizations poses a serious threat to privacy and security.

"[CIOs] have to really beef up the work they do in this area, expanding the capabilities, bringing in new people with new skill sets and [enhance] the leadership within their organization to meet these challenges," he said.

Greenspan added that one of the many challenges CIOs are currently facing is that information is supposed to be made more readily available to providers and patients, yet the penalties for making an error during that process have risen considerably. Everything from the HITECH Act to meaningful use initiatives are examples of the push toward data sharing, he said.

However, a hospital consultant who understands the technology and how best to implement it safely can help healthcare organizations integrate new systems while still adhering to HIPAA regulations.