Technology: Security Concerns

As health care technology advances and significant economic incentives exist to implement and use electronic health records, concerns about security continue to rise.

In an interview with FierceIT Mobile, Alabama’s Springhill Medical Center Chief Information Officer (CIO) Mark Kilborn, called security his biggest challenge. “It keeps me awake all night,” he said. Kilborn, Springhill’s CIO for more than 14 years, explains that integrating electronic health records into the health care system is a hefty challenge for information officers.

Health insurance providers Premera and Anthem have experienced large-scale security breaches — joining a long list of companies, large and small, medical and otherwise, whose consumer’s personal data has been compromised by computer hacks.

Stefan Groschupf, a chief executive with San Francisco-based big data company Datameer, blogs for Venture Beat that data analysis is the key to catching fraud attempts early as well as preventing them. Groschupf writes that sophisticated data analytics are able to analyze large amounts of information and spot irregular server activity early.

Stakeholders like Kaiser Permanente have been proactive in protecting patient information by joining forces with the Medical Information Fraud Alliance (MIFA). MIFA’s website describes the cooperative as an alliance of public and private stakeholders united in finding solutions and best practices to deal with medical identity theft and fraud.

President Barack Obama recently signed an executive order that allows the U.S. Treasury to freeze the assets of any person, organization or entity overseas involved in “destructive cyber-attacks or online corporate espionage,” and bar their work with U.S. citizens, Justin Sink and Chris Strohm report for Bloomberg News. This order is intended to take action against perpetrators who commit large-scale security breaches outside the boundaries of this country.


This is the first in a continuing series on technology in health care. If you have news or advances to share, please email Joshua Johnson at


-Joshua Johnson
ACHP Intern