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Children’s Medical Center Named First Hospital to Receive Texas Covered Entity Privacy and Security Certification

At the HITRUST 2014 conference today in Grapevine, Texas, Children’s Medical Center Dallas announced it is the first and currently the only hospital in Texas to receive the Texas Covered Entity Privacy and Security Certification by the Texas Health Services Authority (THSA) and the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST). By achieving this certification, Children’s is recognized as a health care leader demonstrating Children’s commitment to protect the privacy of our patients’ health care information. The HITRUST 2014 conference is April 22-24.

“We are pleased to be the first hospital in the state to receive this important certification, which recognizes the rigorous effort we have made to enhance quality and safety through information technology,” said Chris Durovich, Children’s chief executive officer. “Each day, parents place in us their sacred trust to provide the very best care for their children, which includes protecting the privacy and security of our patients’ sensitive health information.”

THSA, in collaboration with HITRUST, launched the Certification Program to honor organizations that meet both state and federal privacy and security regulations. This designation comes after a thorough onsite review that involved third-party auditors assessing more than 150 IT security checks across 16 departments.

The Texas Legislature directed THSA to create this certification program in 2011 through Texas House Bill 300, authored by State Representative Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) and sponsored by Senator Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound)

“I am pleased to see significant progress being made toward ensuring our medical information is private and secure,” said Senator Nelson. “I am especially glad to see this first milestone occur on behalf of the children of Texas, whose security should always be a priority.”

“Texas is the first state to implement a privacy and security certification program of this kind,” said Representative Kolkhorst, chair of the House Committee on Public Health. “I’m hopeful that this certification will guide our Texas health care providers and help them honor their commitment to protecting patients’ sensitive health data. While the national debate over privacy and data mining continues, Texas can be a leader in protecting the personal information of its citizens.”

As the health care industry continues to transition to an electronic world, patients, patient families and health care professionals expect secure access to health information anytime, anywhere. This certification represents Children’s commitment to offering patients an additional level of protection and security, while using today’s latest technology platforms.

“The certification provides a standard mechanism for demonstrating compliance with state and federal privacy and security laws, and industry best practices for the protection of sensitive health information, which Texas health care providers can leverage to provide shared assurances with regulators and among business partners, participating organizations and their customers,” said Tony Gilman, THSA chief executive officer.

Earlier this year, Children’s earned Common Security Framework (CSF) Certified status for information security by HITRUST, placing Children’s among an elite group of organizations worldwide that have earned this certification.

“Securing patient data is a critical step in delivering the highest level of health care. Through the use of leading edge technologies, and the validation of HITRUST, Children’s is ensuring we are deploying an additional degree of security for our patients and families,” said Pamela Arora, senior vice president and chief information officer at Children’s. “This accomplishment speaks to our organization’s commitment to data security and the hard work and dedication of our IT and Compliance teams.”

About Children’s Medical Center

Founded in 1913, the not-for-profit Children's Medical Center is the seventh-largest pediatric health care provider in the country, receiving more than 760,000 patient visits annually at its two full-service campuses in Dallas and Plano, multiple specialty clinics and 16 primary care MyChildren’s locations. Children’s was the state’s first pediatric hospital to achieve Level I Trauma status and is the primary pediatric facility affiliated with UT Southwestern Medical Center. For more than 100 years, Children’s has been dedicated to making life better for children. For more information, please visit www.childrens.com.

About THSA

The Texas Health Services Authority (THSA) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2007 as a public private partnership, legally structured as a nonprofit corporation, to support the improvement of the Texas health care system by promoting and coordinating HIE and health information technology (HIT) throughout the state to ensure that the right information is available to the right health care providers at the right times. In 2011, the Texas Legislature authorized THSA to identify relevant security and privacy standards and develop a certification program by which Covered Entities could demonstrate compliance with federal and state health information protection requirements. For more information, visit www.HIETexas.org.

About HITRUST

The Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) was born out of the belief that information security should be a core pillar of, rather than an obstacle to, the broad adoption of health information systems and exchanges. HITRUST, in collaboration with healthcare, business, technology and information security leaders, has established the Common Security Framework (CSF), a certifiable framework that can be used by any and all organizations that create, access, store or exchange personal health and financial information. Beyond the establishment of the CSF, HITRUST is also driving the adoption of and widespread confidence in the framework and sound risk management practices through awareness, education, advocacy and other outreach activities. For more information, visit www.HITRUSTalliance.net.

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