Q&A | April 29, 2014

Healthcare Regulations, Advancing Technology Create Opportunities For Solutions Providers

Bernadette Wilson

By Bernadette Wilson, associate editor, Business Solutions magazine
Follow Me On Twitter @bernadeditor

Healthcare IT News For VARs — January 16, 2015

Several industry experts' opinions on the most significant trends and opportunities in healthcare are featured in the Business Solutions article Healthcare IT Driven By The Patient in the Business Solutions 2014 Partner Program Insider. The following channel execs also provide insights on trends and opportunities for BSM's readers.

Joan Morales, Director of Channel Marketing, Axcient:

With a potential substantial increase in number of patients due to the Affordable Care Act, healthcare organizations will see a tremendous increase in the need for electronic record keeping, mobile access, and business analytics. This means that data security will be paramount to keep up with the growing data volume and to ensure organizations remain compliant with HIPAA/HITECH. We have seen an renewed interest among healthcare organizations of all sizes in terms of reviewing their data protection systems, backup, and disaster recovery solutions, as they prepare to ramp up their IT services and want to ensure patient data will always be accessible and protected.

Terry Cruikshank, Senior Marketing Manager, Industry Marketing, OKI Data Americas:

The transition to electronic health records (EHR) is bringing about the push for bring your own device (BYOD) and, with it, the need to address HIPAA and security issues.  However, even with EHR, there remain several processes that continue to be paper-intensive; for example, pre-admissions/admissions, procedures, recovery, discharge and billing, and targets for business process improvements.

Laura Henderson, General Manager, TEKLYNX:

We’ve seen organizations gradually turn to bar code labeling solutions in response to their growing need to minimize medical errors, in turn, eliminating costs. Protecting patient confidentiality and safety, increased accuracy, and enhanced reliability of healthcare providers are motivating adoption of secure AIDC solutions.

Peter Martini, Chief Operating Officer, iboss Network Security:

Traditionally, the healthcare industry has been slow to adopt new technologies, and now it is dealing with the consumerization of IT in the workplace and a number of new security threats. BYOD and tablets are not inherently secure. Many networks are struggling to adopt these new technologies while ensuring HIPAA compliance is enforced. The ability to gain visibility into unauthorized SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) programs is posing a more difficult task as these services are typically encrypted and run as apps on personal devices. Restricting access to applications or sites is counterproductive; there are numerous applications that improve efficiency and productivity in healthcare. What the industry needs is to focus on implementing technologies that set policies and effectively augment behavior. For instance, a user may want to access a free application to store files. A more secure technology and policy will recognize what the employee is trying to do and redirect them to a company-approved account instead. From an IT perspective, administrators need to create a gateway security system that ensures compliance and productivity. Additionally, the healthcare industry is seeing a rapid proliferation of devices now being serviced through the Internet, which invites vulnerabilities. Medical equipment such as dialysis and imaging machines can be administered or updated remotely so we can assume it creates more entry points for cybercriminals to try to access medical records or billing systems. Medical records are now worth more in the black market than credit card information, according to some experts. Patient confidentiality is also a top concern so keeping that data protected is critical, not just from a compliance perspective, but the potential backlash from consumers as well. If consumers lose trust with a healthcare institution, that is going to be a huge blow to the entire industry, potentially impacting the viability of the institution.

Robert Laughlin, President, Galaxy Control Systems:

Healthcare facilities are increasingly expanding their footprints with outpatient facilities and satellite locations. This requires the implementation of multiple systems capable of delivering stand-alone and networked functionality. Advanced control systems provide this capability while often enabling the ability to integrate components from various manufacturers. This can lead to tremendous long-term savings for users while providing resellers with a very compelling sales proposition.

Steve Surfaro, Security Industry Liaison, Axis Communications:

The deployment of IP-based devices that may be leveraged for patient telemetry, location, and safety are invaluable. Staff is always at a premium at healthcare facilities, so the use of devices like IP video cameras is useful for remote patient monitoring and emergency code verification. The trend for improved network device security in a “hardened medical grade” solution is an emerging standard.

John Grabowski, National Sales and Marketing Manager, JVC:

Healthcare facilities continue to expand in size at primary locations, and are increasingly adding remote outpatient and care facilities embedded in surrounding communities. Many of these facilities are open 24/7, which requires video surveillance cameras capable of operating in low light to provide high resolution color images that can be used to accurately identify people and vehicles. New imaging solutions facilitate this need by delivering color low light operation without the need for illuminators or extra lighting which increases security while reducing overall costs.

Scott Schafer, Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Service, Arecont Vision:

We are seeing an increased demand in healthcare organizations looking to bolster their video surveillance systems. This is not exclusive to large healthcare institutions and hospitals, as we see small and midsize organizations deploying IP video surveillance to assist with many aspects of their security environment. The reason is simple. New megapixel camera systems now make it possible to cover much larger areas with fewer cameras. That not only is economical from the camera and system perspective, but it allows professionals working in the operations center to do their jobs more effectively. Megapixel cameras provide an ideal imaging solution by providing greater wide area coverage than conventional cameras while optimizing valuable transmission and recording bandwidth. The combination of high performance and cost-efficiency provides tremendous value to healthcare organizations.

Ajay Jain, President and CEO, Quantum Secure: 

The integration of identity management and physical security continues to be a trend. Physical Identity and Access Management (PIAM) solutions address this need with a high level of cost-efficiency with unique capabilities like intelligent patient management which ties patients to their visitors to limit access specifically to areas where visitors are permitted. The ability to integrate various identity and physical security systems onto a single platform improves overall security at stand-alone, campus, and satellite healthcare institutions while reducing costs and ensuring compliance.