Healthcare facilities all across the nation are faced with numerous security challenges. Their enormous staffing and naturally high volume of traffic attribute to their elevated security risk. Because of these reasons, a multi-faceted approach to security in the healthcare industry is becoming increasingly important in meeting the regulatory requirements around patient privacy.
One of the most important set of changes in privacy standards was brought about in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or HITECH Act, which was signed into law as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
The HITECH Act
The HITECH Act adds notification requirements for healthcare-related information security breaches, implements new data security standards for electronic records, and increases security and privacy provisions beyond the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The HITECH Act extends the HIPAA security and privacy regulations to non-HIPAA covered entities.
HITECH thus includes provisions that are designed to protect patient health information by calling for healthcare organizations, their business associates and service providers to fully disclose breaches, including a description of the incident, when it occurred, what was discovered, what types of information were involved, and a description of what was done to investigate and prevent future incidents.
The HITECH Act finally will likely force healthcare providers, vendors and care givers to implement stronger access security to truly protect patient data and avoid multi-million dollar fines similar to those levied against many large corporations for noncompliance.
Too Many Departments Clutter Security
For years, healthcare institutions have used a wide variety or methods to ensure their facilities and its data are secure. For many organizations, this meant building access and security technologies purchased and controlled by various departments, resulting in the need for staff to carry multiple access cards and memorize numerous passwords. This resulted in an extremely fragmented security system that was not only cumbersome, but also costly to maintain.
But there are better solutions out there…
Smart Cards are a Smart Choice
Smart cards are becoming increasingly popular for safeguarding physical security and ensuring the privacy of sensitive electronic information in healthcare facilities. These smart cards allow facilities to issue one card that serves as a workplace ID, physical security access card and strong authentication token for network access.
There are several different smart card technologies available on the market today, each with its own level of security and complexity.
When properly implemented, this technology can help improve both data security and physical access control, all while making it easier to access needed information. The convenience of such a system, using one card for physical and data security, has many organization evaluating the possibility of merging currently independent systems to achieve solutions that are robust, easily managed and that optimize the organization’s existing infrastructure.
For any questions on how the HITECH Act may affect your healthcare facility, simply contact ARK Systems at 1-800-995-0189 or click here today.
When you consider how crucial security can be, and when you think of all the options that you’re faced with today, one thing becomes clear. You need a contractor with experience. For assessment, design, installation, testing and service, ARK is the expert across the board.
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How the HITECH Act May Affect Your Healthcare Facility Campus Safety Magazine