As part of a drive to bolster IT security, The Henry Ford Health System is taking important steps in the positioning of its departments.

Eighteen months ago, the Detroit-based health system moved its clinical engineering department into the IT department to effectively manage 60, 000 medical Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

The move has improved cybersecurity. In a Healthcare IT News report, Chief Information Privacy and Security Officer Meredith Phillips said that prior to the rearrangement, strong security on devices was "hit or miss." Today, the health system is "ensuring medical devices are running across the most secure connection, are updated with patch management and are part of our IT scope," she said in the report.

Philips added that the reorganisation has led to Henry Ford Health being in a better position to fulfill challenging value and care delivery criteria under the New Health Economy. Moving clinical engineering devices and people under the IT umbrella has shored up security.

Each medical device has an IT component. At Henry Ford Health about 80 percent of these devices deal with health data.

“So we are ensuring medical devices are running across the most secure connection, are updated with patch management, and are part of our IT scope,” Phillips said.

Healthcare has to master new devices as patients become more digitally active in their healthcare. This has resulted in increased vulnerability for cyber attacks.

“Organisations must examine if they have their clinical engineering department positioned correctly. Do they fit this department with IT or with facilities? We are at the beginning of that journey at Henry Ford. We have taken steps others are just considering,” Phillips said.

The Health System is also discussing security with device vendors so they better understand sector IT safety and can implement better security controls.

IoT and medical devices are known for being vulnerable in the areas of privacy and security.

Source: Healthcare It News

Image Credit: Pixabay

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