Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

Don’t Risk Your Health (Data) with Paper

Walk into your doctor’s office and you’ll likely witness the trappings of those last holdouts of the digital revolution.  As you enter, you will be dazzled by the patchwork curtain of color-coded manila folders behind the reception desk, each one plump with personal data, most of it outdated but all of it exposed to potential neglect, error or abuse. 

You’ll see a jar on the reception counter, brimming with ballpoint pens topped with plastic daisies. Pick one. You’ll need it for the next phase of your journey into the bureaucratic wilderness known as the healthcare system, where the tendrils of redundancy and inefficiency are strangling the quality of the relationship between physician and patient.

In 2014, when a visit to our trusted medical professional has to start off with a cold interaction with a 1940’s style clipboard, we know that healthcare is a prime candidate for a major update.  Physicians and their patients cannot tolerate the status quo.  In an era of consumerism and technological empowerment, the shift to a more service-oriented model is inevitable.

 

In fact, it may already be here.

 

Fortunately, the regulatory regime in the US anticipated the coming storm of consumer empowerment and technological change.  Back in 1996, Congress gave the nod to healthcare consumers (that’s us) with the passage of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA.  The idea was to give patients more power to manage, correct and assign their health records – at least as much power as a mobile phone subscriber has in keeping his cell number—and to impose greater responsibility on those who hold protected health information—or PHI, an industry term -- to keep it secure and accurate.

 

HIPAA was a great start.  But then, as they say, the Internet changed everything. 

 

In the 13 years that followed, online transactions took root and blossomed.  Personal Health Information was no longer limited to paper records tucked comfortably inside those manila folders; PHI had become data, moving within and between computer systems and subject to a whole new list of perils.

So in 2009, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was signed into law to promote the adoption and “meaningful use” of health information technology.  Subtitle D of the HITECH Act specifically addresses the privacy and security concerns that arise with the electronic transmission of health information.  HITECH also imposed greater responsibility on “Business Associates” (BA) – consultants and vendors of covered entities who touch health data in the course of providing their services—to adopt safeguards to keep PHI secure and available.  This requirement was codified in the 2013 HIPAA Omnibus Rule adopted last year.  This final reconciliation of the two laws notably imposed requirements for BAs to enter written agreements to protect health data.

If you have customers in the healthcare space, you’ll need to have a handle on HIPAA and HITECH requirements for treating and accessing PHI.  Standardized versions of the required BA agreement have been circulating for a while now; know what you are agreeing to before you sign.  Is your data security up to snuff?  Are you able to provide access and updates to personal health data if required?

 

The scene is set for a sea-change in the way consumers interact with the healthcare system.  We’re still waiting for the day when we can breeze into our physician’s office without the fear of contracting writer’s cramp.  But change is definitely in the air. 

If you are interested in learning about how DocuSign customers comply with HIPAA and HITECH, download our FAQ here.

Just don’t file it in a manila folder.

 

For digital solutions for the healthcare industry, click here for more information and opportunities. 

 

About the Author: 

Ken Moyle is Chief Policy Officer at DocuSign. Click here to connect with him on Twitter.

Blog Category:

Blog Image: 
Don’t Risk Your Health (Data) with Paper
Blog Banner Image: 

Blog Tags:

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By An Bui

Social Media Professional with substantial experience identifying, characterizing and connecting online communities and authors. Strong orientation on actionable recommendations that provide mutually beneficial value for communities and organizations for stakeholders.

Currently, I serve as the social media manager for DocuSign, Inc., the market leader and global standard for electronic signature. DocuSign provides the world’s largest and fastest growing electronic signature platform, empowering businesses to complete transactions online quickly and securely while improving compliance and dramatically reducing costs.

DocuSign is the only cloud computing-based electronic signature platform that entirely replaces slow, expensive paper transactions with a fast, efficient and completely digital solution. Accessible from any Internet-connected device, DocuSign supports virtually any document and form type in simple and complex workflows, and provides broad user authentication options, data collection, secure document/data storage and retrieval, as well as real-time negotiation and collaboration tools.

Latest Stories
"We've been engaging with a lot of customers including Panasonic, we've been involved with Cisco and now we're working with the U.S. government - the Department of Homeland Security," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"DivvyCloud as a company set out to help customers automate solutions to the most common cloud problems," noted Jeremy Snyder, VP of Business Development at DivvyCloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We're here to tell the world about our cloud-scale infrastructure that we have at Juniper combined with the world-class security that we put into the cloud," explained Lisa Guess, VP of Systems Engineering at Juniper Networks, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, provided a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services with...
"At the keynote this morning we spoke about the value proposition of Nutanix, of having a DevOps culture and a mindset, and the business outcomes of achieving agility and scale, which everybody here is trying to accomplish," noted Mark Lavi, DevOps Solution Architect at Nutanix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We were founded in 2003 and the way we were founded was about good backup and good disaster recovery for our clients, and for the last 20 years we've been pretty consistent with that," noted Marc Malafronte, Territory Manager at StorageCraft, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are an IT services solution provider and we sell software to support those solutions. Our focus and key areas are around security, enterprise monitoring, and continuous delivery optimization," noted John Balsavage, President of A&I Solutions, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We want to show that our solution is far less expensive with a much better total cost of ownership so we announced several key features. One is called geo-distributed erasure coding, another is support for KVM and we introduced a new capability called Multi-Part," explained Tim Desai, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Hitachi Data Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to w...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"With Digital Experience Monitoring what used to be a simple visit to a web page has exploded into app on phones, data from social media feeds, competitive benchmarking - these are all components that are only available because of some type of digital asset," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.