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Survey: Hospital IT Execs Fearful of Mobile Security Threats

August 23, 2016
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

More than eight in 10 (82 percent) hospitals surveyed by Spyglass Consulting Group expressed grave concerns about their ability to support and protect mobile devices, patient data, and the hospital’s technology infrastructure as a result of the growing threat of cybersecurity attacks.  

The Point of Care Communications for Nursing 2016 report is an outgrowth of a similar study published by Spyglass in March 2014. Content for the survey was derived from more than 100 interviews conducted over a three-month span earlier this year with IT and healthcare professionals working in hospital‐based environments.

Hospitals surveyed were concerned about personally‐owned mobile devices used by physicians and advanced practice nurses, because many end users have inadequate password protection, lack security software to thwart an attack, rely upon unsecured SMS messaging for clinical communications which often included patient health information, and widely use public Wi-Fi and cellular networks that could easily compromise their device, data and communications.

Indeed, mobile devices including smartphones and tablets can certainly introduce vulnerabilities to the hospital’s network and infrastructure through attack vectors that include malware, blastware, and ransomware. Hospitals found guilty of data breaches can be fined upwards of $1.5 million per incident and be required to notify the local media if the breach involves more than 500 patient records. Approximately 25 percent of data breaches originate from mobile devices, according to Spyglass.

Hospitals surveyed also were concerned about hospital‐owned and managed mobile devices used by nurses, ancillary healthcare professionals, and other mobile hospital workers. “Despite increased investments in mobile device management solutions and secure text messaging solutions, cybercriminals have  become  more  sophisticated  and  knowledgeable  about  the capabilities and vulnerabilities of existing security products, and the strategies and tools used by hospital IT to detect a potential intrusion,” said Gregg Malkary, founder and managing director, Spyglass Consulting Group.

What’s more, 71 percent of hospitals surveyed regard mobile communications as an emerging investment priority driven by the adoptions of new patient-centered care models and value‐based purchasing. And, 38 percent of hospitals surveyed had invested in a smartphone‐based communications platform to support clinical communications with an average size deployment of 624 devices. Fifty‐two percent of them have expanded their deployments beyond clinical messaging to support other mobile hospital workers, according to the research.

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LabCorp Joins Apple Health Records Project

November 5, 2018
by Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor
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LabCorp, a provider of clinical laboratory and end-to-end drug development services, has announced that it has enabled Apple’s Health Records feature for its patients.

This iPhone feature aims to make it easier for LabCorp patients to access their LabCorp laboratory test results, along with other available medical data from multiple providers, whenever they choose, according to officials.

In January, Apple announced that it would be testing the Health Records feature out with 12 hospitals, inclusive of some of the most prominent healthcare institutions in the U.S. Since that time, more than 100 new organizations have joined the project,  according to Apple.

LabCorp test results are viewable in the Apple Health app for LabCorp patients who have an account with the company, and enable integration with the Health Records app. In addition to their LabCorp test results, patients will have information from participating healthcare institutions organized into one view, covering allergies, medical conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals.

Patients will receive notifications when their data is updated, and the Health Records data is encrypted and protected with the user’s iPhone passcode, Touch ID or Face ID, according to officials.

“LabCorp on Health Records will help provide healthcare consumers with a more holistic view of their health. Laboratory test results are central to medical decision making, and broadening access to this information will help patients take charge of their health and wellness, and lead to more informed dialogues between patients and their healthcare providers,” David P. King, chairman and CEO of LabCorp, said in a statement.

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HIMSS Analytics Introduces Infrastructure Adoption Model for Health Systems

October 25, 2018
by Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor
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HIMSS Analytics, the research arm of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, announced the introduction of the Infrastructure Adoption Model, or INFRAM, which is designed to measure the technical infrastructure used within a health system.

The INFRAM focuses on five technical subdomains, allowing organizations to benchmark how their infrastructure operates within the following areas: mobility; security; collaboration; transport; and data center.

Similar to HIMSS Analytics’ well-known Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model, or, EMRAM, the INFRAM is an eight-stage model (0 – 7) that allows healthcare IT leaders to map the technology infrastructure capabilities required to reach their facility’s clinical and operational goals, while meeting industry benchmarks and standards.  The final stage, Stage 7, guides organizations towards optimized information integration, contextualization and orchestration essential for the delivery of higher order local and virtualized care processes.

For reference purposes, Stage 0 on the model represents that an organization does not have a VPN, intrusion detection/prevention, security policy, data center or compute architecture. Stage 3 signifies that an organization has an advanced intrusion prevention system, while Stage 5 represents having video on mobile devices, location-based messaging, firewall with advanced malware protection, and real-time scanning of email hyperlinks.

HIMSS officials note that by identifying specific benchmarks for organizations to reach before they go live with EMR, systems, the INFRAM aims to ensure that a health system’s infrastructure is stable, manageable and extensible. Through this, organizations can ideally improve care delivery and create a pathway for infrastructure development tied to business and clinical outcomes.

 “The INFRAM is a welcome addition to our maturity model suite and addresses a longstanding need – guiding healthcare organizations in securely implementing the infrastructure with which their EMRs are built upon,” Blain Newton, executive vice president, HIMSS Analytics, said in a statement. “We have seen health systems engage with advanced clinical applications, only for them to ‘glitch’ under infrastructure that isn't powerful enough to support their tools. With the INFRAM, healthcare providers can develop a detailed, strategic technology plan that defines their organization's current state, desired future state, and each stage in between to achieve their clinical and operational goals.”

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Clinical Team Communication and Data Access in the Palm of Your Hand

Thursday, October 25, 2018 | 1:00 p.m. ET, 12:00 p.m. CT

Eisenhower Health, a west coast-based Magnet Hospital, implemented an enterprise-wide solution enabling mobile communications and collaboration across all care teams, linking the entire enterprise, advancing its communications capabilities, creating access to an enterprise directory, and improving care team response and turnaround times.

Additionally, the system provided extensive and comprehensive reporting with data analytics showing where and to what extent response improvements were made, but also providing the information the hospital needed to better utilize the system and make adjustments to improve results.

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