Intalere Member Best Practice Spotlight – The University of Vermont Medical Center – Cybersecurity, Who’s Protecting Your Patients’ Digital Information? Technical Standards Review and the Role Supply Chain Can Play in Enforcement and Compliance

Issue

Many hospitals rely on their suppliers to protect their patients’ Protected Health Information (PHI), leaving both the hospital and their patients vulnerable to hackers, HIPAA violations and unplanned outages due to incompatible and outdated technologies.

Solution

To take the responsibility for protecting patient data out of the hands of their suppliers, The University of Vermont (UVM) Medical Center developed a multi-disciplinary group whose mission was to evaluate all newly-acquired technologies, technology changes and their potential impact on the organization to ensure that they are supportable, secure and highly reliable. The Technical Standards Review Board (TSRB) reviews more than 250 applications per year, an average of 10% of which are rejected due to cybersecurity issues, reliance on unsupported third-party applications/databases or incompatibility with The UVM Medical Center’s technical standards for which no remediation is possible. Another 20% of the applications are rejected and subsequently appealed. The supply chain department will then engage with the supplier to discuss what can be done to address the technical issues. In the vast majority of the instances where an appeal was sought, working with the supplier or revising contractual language has enabled the end user clinicians and their support personnel to be able to safely deploy the best technological solution to fit their needs.

Outcome

Since the adoption of this process, approximately 50 software applications and medical devices per year, that would not otherwise be available to the organization due to technical deficiencies, were able to be deployed to the direct benefit of The University of Vermont (UVM) Medical Center patients.

About The University of Vermont Medical Center

The University of Vermont Medical Center (UVM Medical Center), along with the Larner College of Medicine at UVM and UVM College of Nursing and Health Sciences, is one of 138 academic medical centers in the country. Through The University of Vermont Health Network and collaborative relationships throughout Vermont and northern New York, UVM Medical Center is able to provide the highest quality care, informed by academic research, to patients throughout our region.

Check out the project video and view the UVM Medical Center page in the 2018 Intalere Best Practices Compendium.

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