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Bipartisan Report Calls for EHR Security/Privacy Action

by | Feb 21, 2012

Snowbound Helps Healthcare Organizations meet Compliance Standards

As the digital age becomes more and more a part of our everyday lives, there are certain pieces of information that we want or need to protect, (Facebook users who tell us every minute detail of their lives notwithstanding). One of the most important of these is our healthcare information – which is protected by several government mandated compliance standards including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) passed by Congress in 1996, and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act enacted in 2009.

The new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center, is focused on implementing increased IT initiatives in the healthcare sector. The task force, recognizing that healthcare IT plays a vital role in quality and cost-effectiveness of patient care, recommends improved health information exchange to securely share health information among patients, healthcare staff and administrative/billing departments.

Task force recommendations coincide with unprecedented public and private spending of almost $30 billion – the effect of the HITECH Act. Recommendations include more cost-effective healthcare through increasing the use of EHR and improved cooperative care through the freer exchange of patient information between healthcare professionals.

HIPAA & HITECH – a little background

HIPAA requires the establishment of national standards for electronic health care transactions and national identifiers for providers, health insurance plans, and employers, while also addressing the security and privacy of health data. The standards are meant to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the nation’s health care system by encouraging the widespread use of electronic data interchange in the U.S. health care system.

HITECH was designed to promote the adoption and widespread use of health information technology. Part of the act addresses the privacy and security concerns associated with the electronic transmission of health information, in part, through several provisions that strengthen the civil and criminal enforcement of the HIPAA rules.

Helping Ensure Compliance with Snowbound

To meet HIPAA and HITECH compliance, healthcare organizations and insurers need to provide access to patient information to those eligible while also protecting the data from those unauthorized – a compelling catch 22. Snowbound’s document and image viewing and conversion technologies provide healthcare and insurance providers with secure access to the data they need for patient care and claim processing, while ensuring that compliance requirements are met.

Document viewing and image conversion solutions quickly and securely display electronic medical record (EMR) information via web browser, while protecting sensitive information from unauthorized users via permission based security protocols. Records may be annotated to highlight particular content, redacted to protect data, and information may be imported from several disparate HIS servers – enhancing interoperability and leveraging and extending investment in existing technology.

Since Snowbound Software helps you meet HIPAA and HITECH compliance standards – we’ve become the go-to partner to help an ever-growing list of healthcare organizations and insurers with their efforts as well.

We’re Snowbound Software – how can we help you?