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healthcare

Clean Desk Policy

A clean desk policy can be an important tool to ensure that all sensitive/confidential materials are removed from an end-user workspace and locked away when the items are not in use or an employee leaves his/her workstation.

PLAN first thing in the morning.

Keep just the things you need for your workday on your desk. Start each day with a few minutes of planning so that you can organize the documents you need for immediate work. File all other folders and documents.

PROTECT information whenever you leave your desk.

You obviously have to leave your desk to attend meetings or to take breaks. But whenever you do, make a quick check to see if there is sensitive information on your desk and place it inside a folder or off your desktop. And for additional security, make sure to switch on your computer’s password-protected screen saver.

PICK UP at the end of the day.

When you leave your desk in the evening, don’t leave documents on it. In order to maintain the security of both your client and employee information, it’s essential to file your documents or lock them up, if necessary. If you get into the habit of cleaning off your desktop every day before you leave, you’ll enjoy the added productivity benefits that come with a clean office first thing in the morning.

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What is Telehealth; provide healthcare virtually.

What is Telehealth?

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) defines telehealth as the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support and promote long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, and public health and health administration. Technologies include videoconferencing, the internet, store-and-forward imaging, streaming media, and landline and wireless communications.

Telehealth services may be provided, for example, through audio, text messaging, or video communication technology, including videoconferencing software. For purposes of reimbursement, certain payors, including Medicare and Medicaid, may impose restrictions on the types of technologies that can be used.1 Those restrictions do not limit the scope of the HIPAA Notification of Enforcement Discretion regarding COVID-19 and remote telehealth communications.

Where can health care providers conduct telehealth?

OCR expects health care providers will ordinarily conduct telehealth in private settings, such as a doctor in a clinic or office connecting to a patient who is at home or at another clinic. Providers should always use private locations and patients should not receive telehealth services in public or semi-public settings, absent patient consent or exigent circumstances.

If telehealth cannot be provided in a private setting, covered health care providers should continue to implement reasonable HIPAA safeguards to limit incidental uses or disclosures of protected health information (PHI). Such reasonable precautions could include using lowered voices, not using speakerphone, or recommending that the patient move to a reasonable distance from others when discussing PHI.

"Public" vs "Non-Public" facing remote communication

A “non-public facing” remote communication product is one that, as a default, allows only the intended parties to participate in the communication.

Public-facing products are not acceptable forms of remote communication for telehealth because they are designed to be open to the public or allow wide or indiscriminate access to the communication

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Protect your data from Coronavirus (COVID-19) Scams

Coronavirus (COVID-19) isn’t just a growing threat to public health – it’s also a growing threat to your company’s cybersecurity. From using scary subject lines to adopting faux official letterhead, bad actors are scrambling to use the climate of fear and disruption caused by COVID-19 to their advantage.

Disasters, emergencies, and global pandemics provide a target-rich environment for cybercriminals to launch phishing attacks and employ other dirty tricks to gain access to your data. It only takes one staffer opening a bogus email, clicking on a dangerous link, or downloading a malware-laden attachment for them to succeed. Here are three ways that you can act immediately to prevent a potentially disastrous Coronavirus-related data breach.

Plan, Preserve, and Protect

Use expert guidance from agencies like CISA to prepare your organization for risks posed by COVID-19. Is your cybersecurity plan adequate for the unique challenges presented by increased virtualization if your staff is quarantined or working remotely for safety? Two-factor authentication and other tools like VPN help keep your organization’s data and systems safe even when workers aren’t in the office.

Trust but Verify

Get updates about COVID-19, scams and frauds related to the Coronavirus pandemic, and its impact on cybersecurity from trusted, official sources, and encourage your staff to only use vetted information for planning and communications. Be wary of any email with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink. Avoid sharing or clicking on social media posts, text messages, or IMs offering Coronavirus information, vaccination, treatment or cures.

Make Prevention a Priority

Refresh every staffer’s training on how to spot phishing scams and online fraud. Remind your staff that government agencies will never ask for sensitive personal, financial or business information via email. Reinforce that clicking on links or opening attachments from unfamiliar sources is a quick way for scammers to infect your systems with malware. Employee Security Awareness Training and Phishing Simulations can help make sure that your staff is ready to spot and defend against attack.

Constant vigilance against cyberattacks is a smart strategy for any business. In these uncertain times, we’re happy to be your trusted source for the tools and strategies that you need to keep cybercriminals out of your business.

Your Business is at Risk. Upgrade to Keep it Secure.

Is your business still using outdated systems? Your company could be at risk. 

Cyber threats can not only cripple a small and midsize company but also tarnish its reputation. If your company is using outdated legacy devices and running on unsupported versions of Windows operating system, it’s time to upgrade.

Stay on Outdated Systems and Become a Victim of Cyberattacks

 In 2018, cyberattacks cost businesses an average of $1.1 million per attack. With ransomware attacks and data breaches becoming a norm of everyday life, keeping your computers secure has become a priority for businesses. Hence continuing to use outdated systems is not only going to risk the business but also cost in millions.

As of January 14, 2020, Windows 7 is no longer be supported by Microsoft, which means if you are still using Windows 7 post this date, your computers will be vulnerable to cyberattacks. You will also risk being non-compliant to the industry regulations, which may affect your customers and thereby your business.

Upgrade and Stop Worrying About Security

 The security benefits of the newest version of Windows are hard to deny. Old operating systems are slow and become incompatible with software over time.

The newer version of Windows has improved privacy, transparency and enhanced security features which makes it a must for every organization. It also comes with a variety of productivity-boosting features and functions, making it easier to use.

Businesses that have not already upgraded their systems should begin to work on a migration strategy immediately.

Let us help you audit your systems and address any security vulnerabilities today.

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Medical Practice hacked with Unsupported Operating System.

The imaging devices include machines that take X-rays, MRIs, mammograms and CAT scans.

A huge proportion of internet-connected imaging devices  at hospitals run outdated operating systems, according to research released Tuesday by Palo Alto Networks, a cybersecurity firm.

Hackers could have a variety of motivations for targeting devices in hospitals. Imaging and other medical devices, such as infusion pumps and patient monitoring systems, could all be vulnerable to ransomware attacks, Olson said, noting that hospitals have already that locked down their systems and demanded payment to get them back. They could also use the machines’ computing power to mine for cryptocurrency, an attack called cryptojacking. That could cause overheating or malfunction in the device.

The research looked at 1.2 million internet-connected devices total in hospitals and other businesses. It’s a small portion of the 4.8 billion internet-connected devices that business analysis firm Gartner said existed in 2019. The data comes from Palo Alto Network customers, who use a service called Zingbox to examine all the devices connecting to their networks. The research doesn’t name specific brands of imaging devices.

 

 

Full Article: click here

What I.T. support does for HIPAA Compliance!

What I.T. support does for HIPAA Compliance!

Here is a little snippet of how using an IT company can help you keep your documentation, infrastructure in order for HIPAA required compliance. 

Importance of Thorough Risk Assessment Highlighted by Recent HIPAA Enforcement Action

Last month there were several HIPAA Enforcement Actions taken by the  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR), one of which was as a result of an inadequate risk assessment. 

 The Office for Civil Rights has imposed a 1.6 million dollar civil money penalty against the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (TX HHSC) for HIPAA violations. TX HHSC operates state supported living centers; provides mental health and substance use services; regulates child care and nursing facilities; and administers hundreds of programs for people who need assistance.

 TX HHSC reported a breach to the OCR in June of 2015, stating that over 6,000 individual’s electronic protected health information (ePHI) had been accessible on the internet. The breach was discovered by a user who was able to access ePHI without entering credentials. This was made possible when a application was moved from a private secure server to a public server. During the OCR’s investigation, they determined that in part the lack of a enterprise wide risk analysis had lead to the breach. 

You can find more information on this breach and other recent HIPAA Enforcement Actions at the links provided below.

 Here is the link to the OCR’s full press release on the enforcement action.

Here is a link to a summary of some of the other HIPAA Enforcement Actions taken recently.

Telemedicine the Future of Healthcare

Telemedicine is revolutionizing healthcare, by allowing patients access to medical professionals and medical advice at any time in any location. At the same time this is allowing practices to increase revenue. 

Telemedicine is the use of technology (primarily video conferencing) that enables remote healthcare. The medical professional will send an invite to the patient, and the patient can join from a computer or smartphone by following a link provided in the invite.

 

We live in an increasingly connected world, and telemedicine allows patients and doctors to connect more frequently. That means patients can ask more questions, doctors can provide more answers, which creates a stronger doctor patient relationship.

Telemedicine solutions also allows for multiple parties to join, like family in another state, or a specialist in a certain field. It also provides the ability to share out content such as test results or x-rays.

When looking to establish telemedicine solutions for patients it is important to ensure that the chosen solution complies with all HIPAA guidelines.

 

 

How can A.I. improve healthcare ?

How can A.I improve Healthcare ?

There is no secret that A.I will help improve healthcare treatment for all. This advancement in technology will also have an financial impact as well. Researchers expect by 2021 the industry investment for A.I healthcare to reach $6.6 billion and $150 billion by 2026.  Most of the research going into the AI healthcare industry is for surgery operations. 

When a lot of people hear A.I. in healthcare, many associate doctors being replaced by robots. However, this couldn’t be far from the truth. A.I will improve how doctors can access information particularly life-threatening data in a timely manner. Thus, improving predictable outcomes, speed of care and survival rate.Machine learinng will allow for computer s to make decision with little to no human interaction witch allow the care providers to focus on bigger problems. 

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