In this news roundup, Future Healthcare Today shares stories and resources about compliance, automation, healthcare in the cloud, and GDPR. Today’s healthcare environment is increasingly mobile, while being subject to stricter regulations. Finding ways to navigate this is imperative for any company that collects and maintains electronic patient healthcare data.
Learn about recent compliance mandates, why companies like Amazon need to learn more about compliance, and about how automation and other tools can help a healthcare IT department become compliant in our latest health IT roundup.
Amazon’s Healthcare Push Could Run into HIPAA Compliance Issues
Amazon is expanding into the healthcare field, but its approach to patient privacy could use a lot of tweaking if the company doesn’t want to run into HIPAA compliance problems. The company has set up a health and wellness team within its Alexa division to make the digital voice assistant more useful in the healthcare field.
But the company may need to learn how to better protect medical information and respond to health data breaches. For example, a customer purchased a medical alert bracelet, which included name, date of birth, emergency contact information, and medical condition printed on the inside of the bracelet, from a third- party seller on Amazon.com. The bracelet was then visible on Amazon in advertisements for medical ID bracelets.
Incidents such as these have prompted the American Hospital Association (AHA) recently asked the Federal Government develop a consumer education program to make it clear that commercial providers of health apps may not be subject to HIPAA. Read the article here.
White Paper—The Top 10 HIPAA Compliance Fails: Lessons Learned For 2018
While cyber-hacking is responsible for most of the very large data breaches, it is not the most likely event to impact your organization, especially for most smaller providers. The position of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is that “While your risk landscape is huge and includes all the things [with ePHI] that can walk away from your facility, cyber threats are a very small portion of that risk landscape.”
You can learn more about the top areas of compliance failure here.
4 Ways Automation Can Ease the Burden of Healthcare High-Performance Networks
As healthcare evolves to include Big Data, analytics, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things devices, and all manner of next-generation solutions, underlying IT infrastructures are becoming more complex. This can create a bottleneck for innovation and prevent IT teams from introducing new services or capabilities that can streamline care delivery. Network automation could be the answer to freeing up time for IT staff at healthcare organizations across the board, from hospitals to senior care.
Next-generation network automation tools allow IT teams to deliver a network that is more secure as well as easier and more cost effective to update, while supporting high-performance applications and uninterrupted services. Network automation solutions, such as software-defined networking (SDN) and intent-based networking, can simplify things, enabling IT staff to focus on high-value projects rather than having to “keep the lights on.” Read about the four ways automation can ease the burden on IT staff here.
GDPR: What Does It Mean For U.S. Healthcare?
The U.S. healthcare system generates about 30 percent of all data, which is subject to strict mandates and requirements surrounding its privacy and protection.
From HIPAA to electronic health records (EHR) and the 21st Century Cures Act, healthcare providers are familiar and work hard to comply with data protection. But a game changer – General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – now “gives individuals greater protection and control over their digital information and will impact not only EU member states, but any business that collects EU citizens’ data,” according to Business Insider.
That broad statement includes any organization that has vendors or vendor solutions with locations or employees in the EU and those that may be working and sharing data with researchers, physicians and healthcare organizations in the EU. That means substantial changes in requirements and reporting times for physicians and health companies that are already “awash” in digital health apps and digitizing patient records, according to Business Insider. Are you GDPR compliant? Read the article here.