The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission, a standards development organization and accrediting body for organizations that electronically exchange healthcare data, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center (NH-ISAC) to help support initiatives related to cybersecurity.
With the agreement, the two healthcare organizations intend to collaborate on initiatives supporting prevention and risk mitigation for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) breaches, incidents and cybersecurity prevention, protection, response and recovery.
According to an EHNAC press release, the increased number and breadth of breaches, incidents and cyberattacks have now reached epidemic proportions where no organization, no matter how large or small, is immune. Additionally, the number of HIPAA breaches and incidents has exponentially increased over the past three years, EHNAC noted.
As such, through this collaboration, the organizations will also work to accelerate the adoption of secure, identity-validated health information exchange (HIE) via the Direct standard, in support of meaningful use transitions of care and patient engagement requirements, and for additional uses of Direct for secure and encrypted healthcare data and information exchanges.
“There is an urgent need to increase awareness and identify means of prevention for the seemingly endless string of headline-grabbing cyberattacks this past year. The unfortunate fact is that hacks have increasingly become a part of digital life—and no person or organization is immune,” Lee Barrett, executive director of EHNAC, said in a statement. “With the dedicated focus of our collaborative teams, NH-ISAC and EHNAC look to make great strides in effective awareness and prevention tactics to minimize the crippling impact of these cybersecurity attacks.”
Future tactics from this collaboration will include educational materials, webinars and joint promotional opportunities including case studies, situational awareness intelligence, information sharing, sector and cross-sector impact analysis, incident response, as well as leading practice and workforce education from both organizations.
“We are very excited to partner with EHNAC on this important effort to advance the security of data as well as health and public health organizations,” added Denise Anderson, president of NH-ISAC. “The healthcare sector is coming under increasing threat as can be seen in a number of incidents in the news. Bringing NH-ISAC’s and EHNAC’s expertise and communities together is a first step in helping to keep our members’ operations resilient and safe as well as protected.”