Workshops to educate physicians and their staff around the country on cyber assessments, preparedness and response

September 25, 2017 – Frisco, TX, and Chicago – HITRUST and the American Medical Association (AMA) announced today a partnership to educate physicians and their staff on key areas of information risk management, HIPAA compliance and cyber security with a focus on actionable takeaways, insights and programs they can use in their practices to address these vital and evolving areas. The workshops will provide targeted guidance to small practices, which often lack the resources available to large organizations, to help make good cyber hygiene manageable. These workshops will be held across the country in conjunction with the recently announced HITRUST Community Extension Program.

With ransomware and other cyber attacks increasingly targeting the healthcare industry, many clinics, physician offices, and other small providers are looking for local, community-based resources to help guide them through the journey of establishing governance and risk management programs to avoid a cyber-related breach or event that would disrupt their organization and expose the confidential information of their patients or members. The AMA and HITRUST have partnered to ensure these key organizations in the healthcare ecosystem have access to trusted information and strategies to effectively address these important issues.

The workshops will cover topics and programs, including:

  • Performing cyber and HIPAA risk assessments
  • Fundamentals of good cyber hygiene
  • Implementing cost-effective and manageable cyber security solutions within a practice
  • Lessons learned and experiences from physician practices

The workshops are scheduled to run two hours and will take place immediately before the HITRUST Community Extension Programs that are being held across the country. The first workshop will be hosted by Children’s Health in Dallas and is scheduled for October 9, 2017. More information on the dates, locations, agenda and registration requirements can be found here.

“Children’s Health was an early partner in the launch of the HITRUST CyberAid program, which has eased implementing and managing an effective cyber defense program within small organizations, and has been deployed to over 50 physician practices associated with Children’s Health – with impressive results including no undetected and unmitigated cyber events,” said Pamela Arora, SVP and CIO, Children’s Health. “We see partnering with physician clinics in the community as a crucial way for us to help them better protect their organizations against cyber threats and, in turn, that protects the entire healthcare community.”

The HITRUST Community Extension Program will provide healthcare organizations of all types and sizes an opportunity to engage with local peers to discuss the challenges, best practices and lessons learned in effectively implementing a risk management program and improving cyber security practices. The program will promote education and collaboration in communities in at least 50 cities across the U.S. over the next 12 months.

“As cyber threats continue to increase, the AMA believes it is important to arm small practices with the tools they need to keep their practices – and their patients’ information – secure,” said AMA President David O. Barbe, M.D. “We look forward to working with HITRUST to help small practices manage the cybersecurity challenges they may be facing.”

“Trying to determine the best way to secure my practice from cyber threats was a significant – and at times, overwhelming – undertaking,” said Dr. J. Stefan Walker, a practicing physician in a small practice in Corpus Christi, TX. “Many existing cybersecurity resources and education programs are geared toward larger health care organizations and are not practical for a practice with only a handful of employees. Education and information about best practices from trusted names like HITRUST and the AMA will help to clear out some of the noise in the industry so that small practices can focus on actions they should take to promote good cyber hygiene in ways that work for them.”

“We have been collaborating with the physician community and the AMA to better understand the unique requirements and ensure practical, effective and affordable solutions are available to address cyber risks and regulatory compliance,” said Michael Parisi, vice president of assurance strategy and community development at HITRUST. “These workshops will provide an opportunity to educate the practices on what we have been doing.”

About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the premier national organization providing timely, essential resources to empower physicians, residents and medical students to succeed at every phase of their medical lives. Physicians have entrusted the AMA to advance the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health on behalf of patients for more than 170 years. For more information,
visit ama-assn.org.

About HITRUST

Founded in 2007, the HITRUST Alliance, a not for profit, was born out of the belief that information protection should be a core pillar of, rather than an obstacle to, the broad adoption of health information systems and exchanges. HITRUST—in collaboration with public and private healthcare technology, privacy and information security leaders—has championed programs instrumental in safeguarding health information and managing information risk while ensuring consumer confidence in the organizations that create, store or exchange their information.

HITRUST develops, maintains and provides broad access to its common risk and compliance management and de-identification frameworks, and related assessment and assurance methodologies, as well as programs supporting cyber sharing, analysis and resilience. HITRUST also leads many efforts in advocacy, awareness and education relating to information protection.

For more information, visit www.HITRUSTalliance.net.