As part of a comprehensive review and upgrade of its network infrastructure to assure compliance with HIPAA privacy and security requirements, Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY, is testing its wireless network to guard against unauthorized access to sensitive patient and financial information. And CIO Walter Fahey is not above taking his vendors on a guilt trip. "I bring the vendor reps in the operating room and tell them, 'Imagine if one of your relatives were here in surgery. Serious stuff. All this information has to be read, and it's really, really important stuff,'" Fahey tells IDG News Service.
The hospital has enlisted the new Connected Health Care Solutions division of Verizon Communications to conduct a thorough review of its network infrastructure to make sure it's compliant with all HIPAA privacy and security requirements. The contract includes installation of fiber optics to connect two dozen buildings with a high-bandwidth network, in preparation for an upgrade of the Eclipsys EMR, to support an established telemedicine program and to provide secure access to patient data for physicians with smartphones and other wireless devices. The network has been optimized for BlackBerry use, though Fahey has been reluctant to let doctors view and store clinical information on iPhones, citing security concerns.