Tips To Help Manage Medical Device Security
Small hospitals and surgery centers are expected to maintain robust security postures to protect patient health information. But the amount of work and information is staggering. How can your team process through all of the information?
Luckily, manufacturers of medical devices usually consolidate security information into a Manufacturer’s Disclosure Statement for Medical Device Security (MDS2 for short). The standard document has changed over the past several years to go from a few page form to a staggering thirty-six-page packet.
Even the consolidated information seems like a bit too much. But in actuality, it’s the bare necessity to know how to protect your equipment.
From the MDS2, you’ll be able to see if you should be patching your machines or if you can configure some settings to get the machine to be more secure. But this technical information takes enough time and energy to get and read, that many organizations don’t read them or apply them at all.
This could be a hazard to your medical equipment program, and it is best to read the documentation.
But if you can’t get help, and you haven’t yet read through all of the MDS2 documentation, what can you do?
- First, try to standardize your equipment. If you have the same models of vital signs machines, patient monitors, telemetry, and endoscopy equipment, then you’ll reduce your workload by a very large factor. Learning how to secure one model can inform you about your whole fleet of devices.
- Second, figure out security before the device is purchased. Talk to your salesperson and state that you’re concerned about security. What can they do to ease that concern? Many manufacturers supply machines that don’t need any security maintenance through careful and secure engineering. Others are ticking time bombs, waiting for an attack.
- Lastly, talk to someone else besides sales before you buy the device. Salespeople are great, but they may have a blind spot about the equipment. A brief call to the manufacturer’s technical support group can often save you a lot of headaches.
If you’re struggling with security, contact CE-Tech. We’re happy to help.
Written by IT Manager, Ben Archambault