Abstract

This work describes an undergraduate honors research project into some of the challenges modern healthcare providers face in maintaining compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act. An overview of the pertinent sections of both the HIPAA and HITECH Acts regarding health information security is provided, along with a discussion of traditionally weak points in information security, including: people susceptible to social engineering, software that is not or cannot be regularly updated, and targeted attacks (including advanced persistent threats, or APTs). Further, the paper examines potential violations of HIPAA involving vulnerabilities in commonly-used enterprise health records systems. Finally, we compare these challenges to the challenges of the United States healthcare system prior to 1995, specifically looking at information handling procedures, how procedures have changed, and how effective those changes have been.

 

Health IT Security: An Examination of Modern Challenges in Maintaining HIPAA and HITECH Compliance

This work describes an undergraduate honors research project into some of the challenges modern healthcare providers face in maintaining compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act. An overview of the pertinent sections of both the HIPAA and HITECH Acts regarding health information security is provided, along with a discussion of traditionally weak points in information security, including: people susceptible to social engineering, software that is not or cannot be regularly updated, and targeted attacks (including advanced persistent threats, or APTs). Further, the paper examines potential violations of HIPAA involving vulnerabilities in commonly-used enterprise health records systems. Finally, we compare these challenges to the challenges of the United States healthcare system prior to 1995, specifically looking at information handling procedures, how procedures have changed, and how effective those changes have been.

 

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