Security, EMRs Top Healthcare IT Priorities

Few industries have benefitted more from advances in information technology than the healthcare sector. Between mobile devices, cheaper storage costs and a bevy of industry-specific applications, healthcare providers are — or at least should be — among the most technologically savvy consumer-facing industries in the world.

But as Datamation reports, healthcare IT administrators are faced with dueling agendas to both provide top-notch security for all this patient data while at the same time transforming their networks and departments to use all this cutting-edge technology, particularly electronic medical records (EMRs).

Often, this balancing act leaves both goals unachieved.

A new Impivata study discovered that 38 percent of hospitals surveyed are still not in compliance with the HITECH Act, a piece of legislation that was included as part of the federal stimulus bill that gives regulatory agencies the teeth to enforce security and privacy components of previously passed HIPAA regulations and standards.

Healthcare providers are struggling to serve two masters, according to the latest survey by security software maker Imprivata, and unfortunately they’re falling short on both ends.

According to the report (available in PDF format) 76 percent of IT administrators at 600 North American hospitals queried said data breaches or unauthorized access to clinical applications were their biggest concerns.

At the same time, 76 percent reported they were focused on investing in electronic medical records (EMRs), a priority laid forth by the Obama administration and one that pays the most immediate dividends as far as reducing overall healthcare costs and improving patient care and caregiver efficiency.

Read the full story at Datamation:

Healthcare IT Make Security, EMRs a Priority

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