Security on Mobile devices a top concern for Health IT execs

According to a report by HIMSS Analytics, the rising trend of use of smartphones and other mobile computing devices and its effect on the healthcare information network security were a key concern for healthcare execs. The report also highlighted the growing popularity of BYOD at workplaces. Health providers are increasingly using their mobile devices into workplace; a trend that is both inevitable but at the same time raises healthcare related concerns, the leaders said.

The report summarizes a one-hour focus group meeting with seven hospital health IT leaders during the HIMSS annual convention in March in New Orleans. Cable services provider Comcast contributed support for the research.

“We found that IT network priorities for all participating hospital systems were consistently focused around accommodating greater mobile and wireless connectivity to their networks,” said Jennifer Horowitz, senior director of research for HIMSS Analytics , an arm of Chicago-based Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, in a news release. “Simultaneously, the IT leaders were also concerned with ensuring the security of patient data, particularly as they relate to the challenges associated with Bring Your Own Device environments.”

According to several participants, lack of IT control with BYOD is a major concern.

“Data is exchanged insecurely whether you like it or not,” regardless of the controls an organization puts in place, one participant said. Several said “users at their organization have found ways to ‘jail break’ the security controls put in place.”

Health information exchange is another challenge, most prominently in that HIEs “have not ‘taken off.’”



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