Epic, McKesson executives, CIOs join HITRUST working group to improve IT security

The Health Information Trust Alliance, a pubic-private collaboration leading programs to safeguard health information systems, has formed a working group of industry leaders and professionals to bolster the overall security of, and trust in, information systems and medical devices.

The new program, called the Health Information Technology and Medical Device Integrity and Security Program, is comprised of health IT vendors, medical device manufacturers and health information systems users with the goal of avoiding, reporting and mitigating vulnerabilities.

To achieve its goals, the group plans to develop communications to address concerns of the security of health information systems, raise awareness about individuals' roles in system usage and increase the trust of the public in the health IT sector. It also plans to identify and document security related issues, challenges and concerns, form subgroups to establish guidelines and best practices and develop a way to monitor and report on the progress of the program itself.

The group has 10 steering committee members representing all parts of the health IT industry:

  • Karl Stubelis, vice president, athenahealth
  • Pamela Arora, senior vice president and CIO, Children's Health System (Dallas)
  • Carl Dvorak, president, Epic Systems
  • David Muntz, senior vice president and CIO, GetWellNetwork
  • Daniel Nutkis, CEO of HITRUST Alliance
  • Michael Wilson, vice president and CISO, McKesson
  • Cara Babachicos, corporate CIO of community hospitals and non-acute entities, Partners Healthcare (Boston)
  • Sara Coulter, vice president of industry relations, Philips Healthcare
  • Liz Johnson, chief clinical informaticist and vice president of applied clinical informatics, Tenet Healthcare (Dallas)
  • Tony Gilman, CEO, Texas Health Services Authority (Austin)

The steering committee will provide a plan within 90 days outlining the group's goals and schedule for the upcoming year.

"Given the pace and complexities associated with protecting these systems, the private sector, not the government, should step up to manage this process," said David Muntz. "It needs to be practical and pragmatic, done quickly and with the flexibility required to match the rapidly evolving market. There is too much riding on the effectiveness and acceptance of these systems, and we must ensure we maintain consumers' confidence."

More articles on security:

5 cybersecurity trends in healthcare
CHIME chairman: We need 'blended' information security approach
President Obama calls for improved cybersecurity legislation

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