Promoting Healthcare IT Cybersecurity Awareness on Capitol Hill

Aaron Miri
Oct 05, 2016

Leading into National Cyber Security Awareness Month, last week Imprivata had the opportunity to contribute to the healthcare IT cybersecurity discussion on Capitol Hill as part of National Health IT (NHIT) Week. 

On Wednesday Sept 28, we took part in the NHIT Week celebrations honoring the annual awards to Congressional leadership for their outstanding service in Health IT. 

One of those leaders, Representative Gregg Harper (R-Mississippi), pictured below on the left, has been instrumental in pushing telemedicine as a national model for delivering care. His office has also been very interested in accurately identifying patients and securing the telemedicine endpoints to reduce chances of fraud across the State of Mississippi, and they have been incredibly helpful at educating other House offices on the benefits of health IT, inclusive of healthcare cybersecurity. Rep. Harper was also recognized and awarded the national HIMSS Leadership Award during the NHIT week celebrations. 

Additionally, on Thursday September 29, Imprivata joined the HIMSS Public Policy Team to visit several offices that are all instrumental in healthcare IT legislation. Included with this delegation was an Imprivata customer, Trinity Health CMIO Dr. Greg Forzley.

Dr. Forzley took the opportunity to educate policymakers on the benefits of a recent successful conversion to two-factor authentication in the cloud leveraging Imprivata Confirm ID for the thousands of physicians at Trinity Health, based in Michigan. His point to policymakers was that even though the physicians were reluctant to have to adopt cloud-based security, as they hadn’t had to worry about it before, the benefits far outweighed the risk. With the right technology that makes it simple, the physicians at Trinity Health adopted it without too much fuss. It was enlightening for the staffers to hear from a physician that actually enjoys and speaks very knowledgably about health IT. 

We also had the opportunity to visit with representatives from the Senate HELP Committee, pictured above. These are key partners with the healthcare community who are trying their best to work with offices of other Senators and Representatives in a bi-partisan manner to advance healthcare technology across the country. It is all of these offices that we have to thank for healthcare policy around cybersecurity and the healthcare cybersecurity bills that are being considered.    

Ultimately, this was a week very well spent in partnership with a fantastic HIMSS National Public Policy team that helped coordinate our Hill visits. There will be more Hill visits coming up in the next weeks and months, so stay tuned for more updates. This is an exciting time in healthcare IT and I’m grateful to be a part of this journey and have you all riding along in the car beside us.