Data Security Threats Loom Over Healthcare Reforms

In the wake of the recent massive data security breach at Equifax–potentially affecting over half of the U.S. adult population– the public focus is renewed on vulnerabilities for personal, private data held in trust by corporate organizations and public institutions.

This heightened security awareness is nothing new for hospitals and other healthcare organizations. The steady flow of settlements in HIPAA cases this year is a constant reminder to HIM professionals, hospital executives, and healthcare administrators of the push for universal compliance with HIPAA rules for security standards and corresponding records and documentation.

Protected health information at risk

It is an immense undertaking and responsibility, with daunting consequences for failures and omissions. The exponential increase in the volume of electronic health records, combined with the need for ubiquitous points of access and portability, means that the challenges for data security professionals in healthcare have never been greater.

Now, the head of the Office of Civil Rights, Roger Severino, promises to turn up the heat a little higher under the already hot mix of privacy, security, transparency, and technology issues that HIM professionals must deal with. The announcement of an escalation in OCR vigilance to track down a white whale of a case of non-compliance, or a “big, juicy, egregious” breach, emphasizes the urgency of the work to be done in HIM systems.

HIM leads the way in healthcare reform

Cybersecurity, ransomware, physical security, administrative policy innovations–the roles and competencies required of senior HIM leaders continue to proliferate. The range of multi-disciplinary background knowledge, experience, and administrative expertise must be correspondingly broad to respond proactively across the entire healthcare spectrum of patient care, case management practice, and system-wide reforms.

HIM offers interim assignments in key roles

The central position of the HIM mandate means that it touches all areas of healthcare delivery and potentially affects everyone who accesses healthcare services. This effect means there are opportunities for interim professional HIM practitioners and senior managers to enhance privacy and security measures at facilities across the country.

Challenges in HIM are at the forefront of healthcare reform dynamics. NHS Solutions brings qualified HIM leaders together with organizations dedicated to protecting patient privacy, in interim leadership roles that make a lasting difference.

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