Mobile Devices: Know the RISKS. Take the STEPS. PROTECT and SECURE Health Information

Mobile Devices: Know the RISKS. Take the STEPS. PROTECT and SECURE Health Information

HealthIT.gov mobile security header (click to go to site)I haven’t blogged about it much this year due to the pressures of my own work, but I’m seriously impressed with the relevance, quality and user-friendliness of the work being done by the folks at ONC (the health IT branch of the department of Health & Human Services).

In the summer they released a superb consumer-friendly video that teaches, in just three minutes, the case for getting engaged in our medical records. And, showing that they’re really consumer-friendly, they even made a one-minute version! (Don’t you wish all government agencies “got” being clear to citizens this well?)

Now there’s similar news on reaching out to providers, on an extremely important issue: data security with handheld devices.

This week, at ONC’s annual meeting, many members of SPM were in attendance; I couldn’t, because I was already booked in other meetings, but that’s great, because it’s important that SPM have an ever-growing list of human faces.  So I wasn’t there when this was announced, but it’s important enough I’m pasting in the press release, verbatim. It’s about a new web page with numerous resources on the important issues providers should know about re security when using mobile devices in their work. Go check it out. (More notes below.)
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At the 2012 ONC Annual Meeting today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched a new education initiative including a set of online tools to provide health care providers and organizations practical tips on ways to protect their patients’ protected health information when using mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

Called Mobile Devices: Know the RISKS. Take the STEPS. PROTECT and SECURE Health Information is available at www.HealthIT.gov/mobiledevices. It offers educational resources such as videos, easy-to-download fact sheets, and posters to promote best ways to safeguard patient health information. Launched by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today, a new education initiative and set of online tools provide health care providers and organizations practical tips on ways to protect their patients’ protected health information when using mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
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Topics and resources linked on that page:

Read and Learn

  • How Can You Protect and Secure Health Information When Using a Mobile Device?
  • You, Your Organization and Your Mobile Device
  • Five Steps Organizations Can Take To Manage Mobile Devices Used By Health Care Providers and Professionals
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • Downloadable Materials

Watch and Learn

  • Worried About Using a Mobile Device for Work? Here’s What To Do!
  • Securing Your Mobile Device is Important!
  • Dr. Anderson’s Office Identifies a Risk
  • A Stolen Mobile Device
  • Can You Protect Patients’ Health Information When Using a Public Wi-Fi Network?

As I say, check it out! I’d love to hear from providers about how relevant, accurate and comprehensive this is.  The site says “HHS conducted a Mobile Device Roundtable in March 2012 and held a 30-day public comment period to identify and gather the tips and information that would be most useful to health care providers and professionals using mobile devices in their work. You can watch the Mobile Device Roundtable for more information.”

How’s that for transparency in government, and listening to people’s concerns while writing policy??  (Not to mention that they did the roundtable and published a broad set of resources in less than 9 months later, including getting all the approvals necessary for any government release. I hope many government agencies will be inspired by this nimbleness!)

But I’m no expert in mobile technology, nor in the daily challenges of being a doctor or nurse on the job, so forgive me if I’m being naive or simplistic about anything – comment away!

 

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Posted in: medical records | policy issues | positive patterns

 

 

Comments

One Response to “Mobile Devices: Know the RISKS. Take the STEPS. PROTECT and SECURE Health Information”

  1. Mighty Casey says:

    LOVE this. It’s great info for anyone who has sensitive info on their mobile device(s), HIPAA-regulated or not.

    I started using a lockout and password system on my smartphone when a client pointed out that his information on my phone should be more secure than it was – he’s in the big-data-tech industry, and his recommendation (four years ago) has had me using security protocols on every smartphone I’ve owned since.

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