By Alice Lipowicz
Nov 18, 2009
More than half of the nation's hospitals and health care providers
surveyed intend to buy more cybersecurity tools to safeguard against
breaches of electronic medical records as a result of requirements in
the economic stimulus law, according to a new survey of 186 health care
providers and associates.
The stimulus law has provision known as the Health Information
Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which took
effect on Sept. 23. It includes a broader definition of what patient
health data must be protected against unauthorized release, increased
penalties for violations and provides for aggressive enforcement. The
law also requires providers to notify the Health and Human Services
Department of all data breaches and to call media outlets if more than
500 residents in an area are affected.
As a result of the HITECH Act, 57 percent of the survey respondents said
they would make additional investments in security tools or
technologies, according to the survey by Healthcare Information and
Management Systems Society Analytics released Nov. 17. The survey
included got responses from 150 executives with provider organizations
and 26 executives with business associates.
More than 90 percent of the survey respondents said their organizations
have either changed, or plan to change, their policies and procedures to
prevent and detect data breaches. More than 75 percent plan to do
additional staff training against breaches, and 75 percent are revising
their organization's security policies and procedures. Forty-six percent
said they would take all those steps.
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