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HIT Security Hinges on Mobile Device Management

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, June 19, 2012

One of the biggest technology trends hitting healthcare this year, mobile computing, poses one of the biggest security threats to healthcare that will last for many years to come.

Just last week, my first magazine feature story for HealthLeaders explored the surge in Bring-Your-Own-Device  behavior in healthcare. As I researched the story, I became aware of efforts to improve mobile security being led by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.

James Brady, PhD, is chair of HIMSS's mobile security workgroup. Brady's day job is chief information security officer and director of technical services at Hawaii Health Systems Corporation in Honolulu. HHSC operates 1,275 licensed beds across five islands in the state of Hawaii, so Brady certainly has a vested interest in getting mobile security right.

The group is most concerned with getting it right on tablets, smartphones, and laptops. That's not to say that security on other medical devices isn't of growing importance. It's just not the focus of the HIMSS group for now, and certainly there are efforts underway elsewhere in industry for those other devices.

This past 12 months the HIMSS mobile security workgroup has been busy. In 2011, it produced a mobile security toolkit to provide guidance to healthcare organizations and IT departments.

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1 comments on "HIT Security Hinges on Mobile Device Management"


Ann Unitas (6/19/2012 at 4:44 PM)
Scott - You hit the nail on the head. Policies and rules will not keep providers from using whatever tools available to do their jobs effectively, and mobile devices are an essential part of the toolkit. It is clearly not practical to expect all users to tweak configurations on their personal devices, yet that is the only proposed solution I hear much about. Apollo offers an app that lets professionals use their mobile device camera without risking unauthorized use of the picture. It doesn't solve the whole problem - but it addresses the most common, concerning, use of personal devices. Thanks to people like you, we'll get there!