Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How healthcare data disappears

recently reviewed a slide show about health data theft at Health Care IT News (view it here).  These were all major losses of client or patient medical data affecting thousands of lives; and they all landed the companies on the HHS published list of breaches -- not a ranking you want to appear on.

Interestingly, ALL of the breaches involved hardware theft; nine of the top ten were thefts of laptops or EMR devices (e.g., tablets); the other was the theft of a hard drive.  Let that sink in for a minute:  not one of the top ten involved hackers, firewalls, stolen passwords, or electronic data theft.

I'm not suggesting you not worry about hackers, firewalls, et al.

But protecting hardware from theft may have become the first line of defense against health information loss.

NEXT TIME:  Protecting portable hardware (and their data).

Friday, February 19, 2010

Slowing Down EHR Implementation

Great article on why medical organizations should slow down on adoption of EHRs (http://histalk2.com/2010/02/15/readers-write-21510/) -- issues with EHR design, impact on patient care, and concerns about whether the government will be able to fulfill its obligations under HITECH.

As an HIT consultant, I see another big reason to go slow with EMR adoption: many organizations rushing into electronic health records without recognizing the ways the software will impact their current operations and processes. After years of doing things a certain way, front and back offices are faced with the need to change how they bill, how they track patients, how they complete forms, etc. The failure to do adequate business process work on the front end often obviates any gain the electronic systems could bring, at least for the first year of implementation. And that’s the year that you have to perfect meaningful use.