NCHICA collaboration nets security policy template

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The nonprofit consortium North Carolina Healthcare Information and Communications Alliance, Inc. (NCHICA) announced the public release of its security policy template for “Managing Sensitive Electronic Information (SEI) on Portable Devices and Removable Media,” including laptops, PDAs, USB drives and CD/DVDs. The template details policies, standards and procedures for protecting SEI when its use is required outside of an enterprise’s fixed security and firewall protections.

The development of the template resulted from the collaboration of 19 members of the NCHICA Mobile Memory Task Force. Larry LaBanc, chairman of the task force, believes this peer cooperation and review process added to the success of the product. “Confronting today's challenges as a group—with hundreds of years of collective experience—is so much easier than working alone,” he said.

Throughout this process, maintaining the privacy of patients’ healthcare information remained at the forefront in the creation of this new template. “This template is designed for use by health and care organizations to help address security issues that may arise when private health information is moved outside care settings,” said Holt Anderson, executive director of NCHICA. “By working together, NCHICA’s members were able to establish a consensus standard of practice in the areas of privacy and security.”