Tackling security vulnerabilities in health care

health care data securityNetwork security is critical for any organization, but in the health care space, with the personal and medical details of millions of individuals in the balance, the stakes are even higher. Out-of-date software, unimplemented patches, or even outdated passwords could be the vulnerability that exposes the sensitive information of an innocent and unsuspecting patient base. Two recent security breaches suffered by prominent U.S. health insurers highlight these vulnerabilities.

In February, Anthem Inc., the second-largest health insurer in the U.S, revealed that a previously-disclosed hacker attack compromised the health care records of as many as 80 million individuals. A few weeks later, Premera Blue Cross reported that the personal, bank, and health data of an estimated 11 million individuals was exposed when hackers penetrated its system in a similar assault.

These two high-profile security breaches have intensified the spotlight on data security, and raised several important questions for health care organizations (what HIPAA calls “connected entities”) and groups that provide supporting services to health care entities (called “business associates”). These groups should be asking the following questions: Continue Reading…

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Healthcare IT diagnoses itself with a big data problem

If there was ever an industry built perfectly for the era of big data, it’s healthcare IT. With the exception of the Census Bureau, I doubt there’s anyone else with access to that much data. But due to changes coming from The Affordable Care Act, such as reimbursements being rewarded to hospitals and medical practices based on performance, it’s becoming incredibly important for hospitals to track specific information in real time to help them make intelligent business decisions.

At SHI, we’ve watched the growth of the healthcare IT industry for a chance to bring our unbiased vendor support to a heavily siloed industry. That’s why we jumped at the chance to partner with Cross Current Corporation, whose cloud-based, real-time business intelligence tool — Cross Current Business Analytics (CCBA) — makes gathering healthcare analytics easy and cost effective.

Healthcare’s big data hot spots

Through our partnership, we learned there are three hot points healthcare organizations need to focus on in terms of their business intelligence, and certain questions they need to ask themselves to help drill into their analytics. The first two are common to all businesses: operational and financial. What make hospitals unique are the clinical problems. Continue Reading…

Tags: , ,