Seeking to help companies ensure sensitive health records are secure on portable devices, the North Carolina Healthcare Information and Communications Alliance has created a template for setting guidelines and procedures.

The document spells out in detail how to manage sensitive electronic information of portable devices, such as laptops and PDAs, and removable media, such as USB drives. It was created by a “Mobile Memory task Force” established by NCHICA.

NCHICA has been at the forefront of electronic medical records creation, handling and protection since its launch in 1994. it has addressed issues such as wireless networking, privacy practices and a template for meeting HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability) standards.

“The protection of private health information is paramount,” said Holt Anderson, NCHICA’s executive director. “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. It is yet another example of the power of collaboration. By working together, NCHICA’s members were able to establish a consensus standard of practice in the areas of privacy and security.”

Task force members included representatives from:

• Alamance Regional Health System
• Carolinas HealthCare System
• Duke Clinical Research Institute
• Duke University Health System
• Forsythe Solutions Group
• Halifax Regional Medical Center
• Intel
• LabCorp
• Mission Hospitals
• Moses Cone Health System
• Novant Health
• Pitt County Memorial Hospital
• Rex Healthcare
• Southeastern Regional Med Center
• UNC Healthcare
• UNC-CH School of Medicine
• University of Virginia Health System
• VCU Health System/ACE
• Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center