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(3-Dec-10) Consider the plight of the cardiologist affiliated with multiple hospitals. As she travels to each facility to tend patients, she needs the highly sensitive patient information and other similarly sensitive hospital data, as well. Given a choice between waiting for a hospital terminal or desktop to get the needed information or having instant access to data stored on her own smartphone or tablet, which would a busy cardiologist choose? And which might the heart patients prefer?

This is the dilemma that hospitals, clinics, private practices, and any medical organization face for all their personnel. Several factors compound the problem. Information technology security is not well understood in many medical institutions, nor are there sufficient resources to create and maintain adequate security. Most medical personnel, including doctors, are not aware of the legal risks of exposing sensitive data and don’t understand the need for tools such as passwords and encryption. However, methods do exist to address these problems, and medical organizations can choose among several options.

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Search Code: 37526
Published: December 3, 2010
Last Revised: December 3, 2010

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