Health Information Management

Experts: Hospitals not the place for personal e-mail, social networking sites

HIM-HIPAA Insider, October 27, 2009

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Covered entities and business associates can protect themselves against the dangers of unsecured social networking Web sites and communication practices by taking a hard stance against them, experts advise.

Investing in communication devices such as BlackBerry® smartphones and banning sites such as Facebook and Twitter from hospital computers are two helpful steps you can take to protect your organization from such dangers, says Chris Apgar, CISSP, president of Apgar & Associates, LLC, in Portland, OR.

Regardless of how you respond to these privacy and security vulnerabilities, understanding the risks that unsecured networking sites and technology pose is key, says Apgar.

“A lot of people are panicking,” he says. “But one thing that’s not well understood is the danger related to all this.” 

Note: For more information, visit the HCPro Web site. Subscribers to Briefings on HIPAA have access to this article in the November issue of the newsletter.

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