Highmark Health also uses network access control technology to ensure computers are registered and allowed to join the network. The NAC technology also checks the device’s security posture, and if needed, it automatically pushes software patches and anti-virus updates to the device before allowing it on the network, Yi says.
The organization has also deployed microsegmentation tool, which enables granular access control by building micro-perimeters throughout the network to help protect applications and sensitive data, and to ensure apps only connect to resources that they are authorized to access, Yi says.
When Yi and her team implements microsegmentation for an app, the technology analyzes the app for 30 days to see what resources it needs to connect to so it can operate properly. The security team collaborates with the application team to vet and authorize those connections and blocks everything else out, she says.
EXPLORE: Palo Alto security expert Paul Kaspian explains why healthcare needs zero trust.
In the event of a ransomware attack, for example, those apps have a higher level of assurance that they will be protected from unauthorized access that impacts the confidentiality, availability and integrity of the system and the data. Highmark Health has prioritized microsegmentation to protect critical applications and infrastructure and is now working on expanding their deployment to the next level of critical apps, Yi adds.
“We’re making sure the critical apps are essentially inoculated. It’s like applying a vaccine to protect them,” Yi says.
2. The Growing Importance of Social Determinants of Health Data
NYU Langone Health in New York City launched its data analytics effort in 2009. Today, the IT department has built an enterprise portal that offers more than 60 dashboards to thousands of users, including senior leadership and department analysts, says Jeff Shein, NYU Langone’s senior director of data and analytics.
Everyone from the finance and marketing departments to clinicians use Tableau’s visualization and reporting software, which integrates enterprise data and performs real-time analytics, so the organization can identify trends and draw conclusions. This in turn allows them to make better decisions and improve healthcare, Shein says.
The IT team manages data in three locations: its electronic health record database; an enterprise data warehouse made up of smaller, mission-specific data marts that house information for dashboards in different departments; and a data lake, which features a large amount of raw data used by operations and researchers.
“What’s great about Tableau is you can build useful, interactive dashboards quickly,” Shein says.
In 2013, for example, the IT team built a dashboard using Epic EHR data that provides a real-time view of NYU Langone’s emergency departments and reduces wait times. Then, in November 2022, the IT staff built a bot to automate the process to eliminate constant monitoring of the dashboard. The bot alerts clinicians if patients wait too long to be seen by doctors or wait too long to be admitted and moved to a hospital room, he says.