HIMSS 2012: Mobile Device Security Concerns in Healthcare

Recently, doctors, hospital administrators, healthcare IT directors and thought leaders, met in Las Vegas during the HIMSS 2012 Annual Conference & Exhibition. Ranked as one of the largest health information technology conferences in the United States, HIMSS is a huge educational event in the healthcare IT space, and a great environment for healthcare IT workers and vendors alike to discuss current industry challenges.

Top news highlights of HIMSS12 included the announcement of the government’s Meaningful Use Stage 2 rules. The announcement was the topic of keynote speaker Dr. Farzad Mostashari’s (Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology) presentation.

Mobile technology was another top highlight of the conference; it was reported that mHIMSS tracks and sessions on subjects like smart phone usage in HIT, received standing room audiences. In a Healthcare Technology Online article, Editor in Chief Ken Congdon agreed that providing clinicians with the ability to perform more job duties at the point of care or while on the move, was a big HIMSS focus.

Along with David Houlding, I had the opportunity to present a session on data security challenges in mobile computing; a topical subject for hospital or healthcare facility IT departments as their workforce becomes increasingly more mobile. Additional factors driving the adoption of mobile technology include the need to improve efficiency due to a lack of nurses, a desire to improve the accuracy of information being captured at the point of care, the availability of federal grants for the deployment of EMRs/EHRs (electronic medical record/electronic health record) and most importantly, efforts to improve the quality of patient care.My session with David, titled “Addressing Security Concerns for Mobile Computing Devices in Healthcare,” discussed best practices for healthcare facilities interested in deploying mobile technology.  During the presentation, we covered industry regulations, risk assessment, device management, encryption, chip-level security, wireless technologies and other security considerations, as well as one of the leading drivers behind the mobile device phenomenon, the consumerization of IT.If you missed this year’s HIMSS conference, my presentation on data security with David Houlding is available for download, here.I think I can say on behalf of David, as well as myself, with a comprehensive IT security strategy that focuses on prevention, healthcare facilities can meet the challenge of enabling a growing mobile workforce without compromising the security of their networks.
What are your concerns are about mobile device security in the healthcare market?