With many threats rising in the healthcare industry, migrating IT assets to a cloud-enabled world is the way out.
FREMONT, CA: The healthcare industry is moving to the cloud in order to function more effectively and efficiently. The shift to the cloud has taken care of the industry through numerous ways like health care delivery organizations (HDOs), often linked to cash, time and technical staff, can do anything from providing the perfect billing or health-tracking solution to capturing and analyzing data, leading to increased dependence on third parties.
While some companies' solutions will undoubtedly continue to play an important part; cloud computing has fostered the growth of many specialty niche apps that do a better job than the more comprehensive apps do. Today, some significant HDOs and health plans have relationships with thousands of business associates (BAs), making it as difficult as possible to preserve the safety of their PHI for all these suppliers.
The risk profile of the HDO has dramatically changed. While the swift to the cloud relieves the HDO of much of the weight of on-site IT hosting, monitoring, management, and security, diligent organizations understand they need to concentrate on third-party configuration complexity, needing a fresh scheme to safeguard patient data. Their risk management programs can no longer only look at their policies and employees.
Many HDOs are reluctant to manage this shift, lacking mature security programs and even basic programs for managing suppliers. Consider the task of ensuring that, according to HIPAA and its regulations, each business partner who does business manages its safety program. An HDO with 500 company associates would be required to perform nearly two safety assessments of vendors every day of the year. For any HDO, this is simply not possible.
How to Handle the Swapping of Data?
Many have turned to the use of attestations and certifications from third parties to bear much of the burden. The organizations can show that they are doing something to deal with the risk by requiring their business partners to obtain one or more security certifications from third parties.
Unfortunately, it may not be sufficient to rely on these kinds of validations to guarantee that your protected health information (PHI) is appropriately secured. First, when assessing the safety program of a vendor, not all third-party validations are equivalent. Second, PHI processing often needs various BAs to cooperate and outcomes in multiple partners, passing the PHI of your organization to achieve your objectives. Besides, many BAs rely on other third parties to provide their services themselves. To handle third-party suppliers efficiently, organizations should:
• Set up a master list of all suppliers, including their service(s)
• Map the data each has access to and the criticality of the organization
• Understand how the data is accessed
• Discover each seller's dependencies on your other sellers
• Identify which outside vendors use each service provider
Organizations should construct a supplier rating system that enables them to group suppliers based on the organization's danger. In creating this scheme, factors to consider include: type, criticality, quantity and techniques of access to the information that each category has access to, and then apply a set of safety criteria for each ranking that you think addresses the hazards that each rating presents to the organization. These requirements may include the sort of acceptable third-party certifications, increased risk and security questions that a seller requires to answer, and the type of audit demands that you will place on them. This third leadership program must then be integrated into an extensive safety program that covers all safety policies and operations across the organization of healthcare, understanding how these components interlock.
Providing transparency to certifications and other industry-standard safety documentation offers an excellent chance for company partners to distinguish themselves from other suppliers. They can take proactive measures, such as:
• Make all third-party certificates accessible
• Complete and provide standard industry forms
• Publish matrices of liability for each third party certificate
• Publish clear rules on how to use the services you provide correctly and safely
• Make customers and prospects accessible to security and compliance staff
The more these vendors can do, the easier HDOs will find the vendor management process and the more comfortable the HDOs will be with the risk posed by the vendor.