Corporate Compliance

Mobile devices another PHI challenge

Compliance Monitor, March 7, 2012

They are becoming as common in healthcare as a stethoscope draped around a physician's neck. Check the pocket of a doctor's white coat, and you're likely to find a mobile device, whether it be a tablet computer or a smartphone.

The use of these devices is exploding in healthcare, says Christina Thielst, a health administration consultant and blogger from Santa Barbara, CA.

It's a phenomenon that hasn't escaped the notice of HHS. The federal agency is concerned about the expansion of mobile health technologies, which it says have changed the way providers are delivering healthcare in the United States and throughout the world.

In January, an HHS task force recommended the agency establish guidelines for managing privacy and security concerns if the government encourages and helps develop health text messaging and mobile health programs.

This item is adapted from an article which originally appeared in the March, 2012 issue of Briefings on HIPAA.