By Katie Wike, contributing writer
Mobility is an advantage for healthcare professionals, but having personal data on many mobile devices also means needing more protection
Doctors and nurses are on the move now more than ever, taking with them electronic health records (EHRs) on tablets and smartphones, and interacting with those EHRs on these devices regularly. A Vitera Healthcare survey found 93 percent of physicians want the ability to review a patient’s EHR, and 87 percent want to be able to update a patient’s chart and order prescriptions.
With that many healthcare professionals using mobile solutions, a new concern arises: how secure is the data contained in the EHR? When patient information is being bounced around the cloud from an iPad to a smartphone to a nurses’ station all in a matter of seconds, there are many opportunities for security breaches.
HealthIT Security author Bill Kleyman, an expert in network infrastructure management, writes, “What does your healthcare organization really want to control? Does it make sense to manage the physical device or simply the workload that’s being delivered to it? How can the healthcare organization securely deliver data and applications to user devices that don’t really belong to them?
“These types of questions have come from one simple evolution within the healthcare security and IT world: The management of physical devices has progressed much further with more data, users, and many more devices. In creating a secure solution, there needs to be an understanding of the security and management layers within the mobility and device control environment.”
The first layer Kleyman details is device layer security, “Where mobile device management (MDM) solutions fall into place.” The next level is application layer security, or mobile application management (MAM). MDM “for organizations looking to purchase, control and distribute their own mobility devices” and MAM is “to logically segment the physical device and the applications that are being delivered.”
Third is data layer security, through data and file sharing solutions in the cloud. Kleyman says, “Healthcare organizations are able to recreate Dropbox-like environments within their own data center walls. This means full control over the data, where it’s being delivered, who is accessing it, and how it’s being shared. Furthermore, these technologies directly integrate with both MDM and MAM solutions.”
Last is user layer security, or where organizations can now secure their end users by using a personalized profile and settings. “This means that settings, personalization elements, and other user-related data can be delivered to any device on any operating system (OS). Administrators are able to place the user’s settings into a container and allow it to carry over to various platforms. This means that working with different version of software or even OSes no longer becomes an issue.”
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