Why ICD-10 and cybersecurity must go hand in hand

As the ICD-10 implementation date draws near, providers should not let cybersecurity fall to the wayside, according to industry experts. 

Because providers have been busy with projects like electronic health record system implementations and ICD-10, cybersecurity has "taken sort of a backseat," healthcare IT expert and Nachimson Advisors Principal Stanley Nachimson tells ICD10monitor.com.

Breaches in 2014, such as the Community Health Systems cyberattack and the Sony Pictures hack, highlight how vulnerable patient information is--and it's possible the worst is yet to come, he adds.

Instead, cybersecurity and ICD-10 should be complementary, Juliet Santos, ICD-10 principal and head of professional services at Leidos Health, says in the article.

Santos says that as providers test the new system, they should keep security questions in mind, including:

  • What types of data risks should we be thinking about and trying to mitigate as we roll out ICD-10?
  • Should we be concerned about connectivity issues with external trading partners?
  • Where does data security fit in as we execute ICD-10 testing internally and externally?
  • Would it be of value to have a security team to be part of the ICD-10 test team committee?

Nachimson adds that health systems should think carefully about who should have access to the codes.

"You want to make sure that you've got the security around here so that as you are using ... other folks to do the testing, they understand the need for the security and the privacy of the information that they're handling," he says. 

Even though organizations continue to call for another ICD-10 delay, practices would be wise to forge ahead with implementation, Deborah Grider, a healthcare consultant and current president of the Indiana Health Information Management Association, writes in another post at ICD10monitor.com.

She predicts that 2015 will be "the year of education and training" for ICD-10, saying that providers must budget for such efforts to ensure they aren't caught unprepared next October.

To learn more:
- read the article