Based upon extensive work in both healthcare IT and information security, CDW Healthcare has identified preliminary steps for healthcare organizations focused on improving their security profile.
Execute an IT security assessment: Many healthcare organizations do not know the current state of their IT security infrastructure. Fewer still know what constitutes an adequate profile. Healthcare organizations need to work with a trusted partner to secure a baseline understanding of what their security profile looks like today.
Start with the basics: Notably, 30 percent of physician practices state that they do not use anti-virus software and 34 percent do not use network firewalls. At the absolute minimum, healthcare organizations need to immediately implement steps to meet reasonable security standards.
Protect your investment: As healthcare organizations consider the transition to EHRs, they have the perfect opportunity to implement IT security practices tailored to their solution. This not only protects a sizable investment in technology, but also ensures that as patient data goes digital, security protections are already in place.
Start now, reassess often: IT security is not a one-time fix. Though the EHR transition is a perfect time to initiate tighter IT security controls, all healthcare organizations need to consider their IT security profiles and should consider conducting an assessment at least once a year.