Even though Labor Day just marked the unofficial end of summer, and we know the challenges facing healthcare are no picnic, there’s still plenty to celebrate this season when it comes to technology. Our HIT List this week gives a shout-out to positive developments including data vaults, comprehensive cloud security and interactive interoperability standards.

  1. How mature is your data? Only 8% of U.S. organizations rank “ahead of the curve” in data maturity, which is a particularly significant problem for healthcare and other industries that are top targets for cybercriminals. A giant step toward data maturity involves creating a secure data vault protected by an “air gap” between the primary system and the backup, keeping data inaccessible and invisible from attackers. Storing data offsite is also a biggie, but more than 56% of companies surveyed continue to keep it on premises.
  2. Duplicate EMRs are pricey. Up to 12% of a hospital’s EMRs can end up being duplicates, created when patients are misidentified during the admissions process. If one of these duplicates lacks crucial information, duplicate or unnecessary medical care is often provided — at an average cost of close to $1,100 per patient. To make matters worse, insurers typically reject claims for these duplicate services, reworking the denied claims costs $25 each, and cleansing a duplicate medical record can cost another $1,000.
  3. Not all cloud security is created equal. Every industry needs cloud security, but it’s hardly a news flash that healthcare requires extra care and consideration to protect sensitive, highly regulated patient data. A smart plan starts with reviewing organizational goals and developing a risk management program. For a better look at the big picture, check out all seven critical steps on this infographic.
  4. Beware malware, blastware and ransomware. Nearly 40% of hospitals now have a mobile platform for clinical communication, but 82% are worried about their ability to ward off cyberattacks on the mobile devices, data and infrastructure. They’re nervous despite investing in endpoint security and enforcing stringent use policies, especially since many clinicians continue to use personal devices or workarounds that increase risk. Makes you want to review your mobile security strategy yet again, doesn’t it?
  5. Tell ’em what you really think. ONC wants your opinion on the just-released 2017 Interoperability Standards Advisory (ISA) The ISA is one element of the interoperability roadmap the ONC seeks to implement nationwide. The goal is to replace the ISA’s static PDF format with a web-based, interactive, Wiki-style resource that stakeholders can continue to shape. You have until October 24 to speak your piece.
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