Viruses are a troubling fact of our modern world. But for medical providers they can become huge fines for violating patient privacy.

The federal government knows that most practices don’t follow the guidelines for keeping their software up to date so they are easy targets for fines such as this.

A practice in Alaska, Anchorage Community Mental Health Services (ACMHS), was fined $150,000 for not keeping their software (Windows and their EMR software) up to date. They also didn’t keep their antivirus software updated. This allowed a virus infection into their network that breached the privacy of 2,743 patients.

As you can imagine, HHS took issue with this. Thus the fine of $150,000.

You can read the HHS bulletin here

So here is the takeaway for all medical practices –

  1. Keep your software updated – Windows updates
  2. Keep your EMR software updated. Don’t use software that is no longer supported
  3. Install antivirus software from REPUTABLE companies
  4. Keep the antivurus software updated – it not, then its useless

For your convenience, we have also supplied a link to the HHS HIPAA security rule.