Warning: It May Be Time for a Software Upgrade
HealthPOINT, the regional extension service charged with helping practices implement Meaningful Use of EHR software, says it may be time to upgrade your office computer software. The following information was released by HealthPOINT on August 9th:
Microsoft has announced that support for its Windows XP software, as well as its Office 2003 software, will end on April 8, 2014. In a nutshell this means that computers continuing to operate using Windows XP or Office 2003 after April 8 will no longer receive security updates. This means that computer systems that are running this software will become prime targets for malicious programs and hackers.
In addition to the system information being at risk, these computer systems will become non-compliant with HIPAA; specifically 164.308(a)(5)(ii) which states that you must implement procedures for guarding against, detecting, and reporting malicious software.
Because these systems will be non-compliant with HIPAA they will no longer meet the Meaningful Use objective 15 (for eligible professionals) and 14 (for eligible hospitals); which requires meaningful users to protect electronic health information created or maintained by the Certified EHR technology through the implementation of appropriate technical capabilities.
In order to continue to receive Meaningful Use incentive payments, and to avoid potential HIPAA violations, HealthPOINT strongly encourages organizations using the above mentioned Microsoft products to upgrade their systems to newer versions of the products. If you would like assistance performing this task or have questions regarding this announcement please speak with your HealthPOINT representative or contact them at (605) 256-5555.