Cyber Security Expo
Securing the E-Mail System in the Healthcare Organization by Karen Watson on 02/08/07

Today an e-mail system can be a vital business tool in the health care organization. The health care organization use e-mail to conduct business with a business associate pertinent to the daily operations of the health care organization. The business associate normally signs a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) for a health care organization for the purposes of the security of the electronic health information. Even though the BAA exists, there are still potential glitches, threats, and vulnerabilities within the e-mail system and among the users, which can cause a breach of the electronic information. Therefore, the security of the e-mail system is necessary, but the privacy of an employee’s e-mails may also be necessary according to the Electronic Communications Protection Act (ECPA). More importantly, the security, confidentiality, integrity, and availability of Electronic Protected Health Information (EPHI) are mandatory according to the legislative guidelines of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). The research paper presents the uses of the e-mail system in a health care organization, the challenges of the e-mail system in the heath care organization and the preventative actions necessary to secure the e-mail system in the healthcare organization. Under the privacy challenge, the legal issues, which may arise from the misuse of the EPHI in the health care organization, will be presented in further detail. Finally, in the research paper under the section entitled, Preventative Actions to Secure the E-mail System in the Healthcare Organization will include solutions to the aforementioned e-mail challenges the health care organization can implement, which represent the best practices for the security of the e-mail system, while enforcing HIPAA’s and ECPA’s legislative laws in the health care organization.

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