Devising strategies for ensuring social media are not used in ways that violate patient privacy is one of the top trends for 2011, says Lisa Gallagher, senior director of privacy and security at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.
While the HITECH Act is jump-starting the shift from paper to electronic health records with its incentive payments, a presidential panel is envisioning a next generation of EHRs that embed privacy protections using XML.
Cybersecurity reform was part of a defense bill that included a provision to repeal a law that bar gays from serving openly in the military. Supporters couldn't muster the support to bring a Senate vote on the bill.
When Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver, Wash., introduced free wireless Internet access for patients and guests, it used a "defense-in-depth" strategy to address security issues, says Christopher Paidhrin, IT security compliance officer.
To help agencies secure their wireless networks and technologies, the Government Accountability Office came up with eight leading practices. For now, GAO says, wireless networks remain at an increased vulnerability to attack.
A two-year pay freeze isn't likely to hurt the government in hiring and retaining infosec pros. People often choose to work for the government for a higher cause, to play a vital role in protecting the national interest.