Keeping an Eye on Data Security
Thomas Eye Group is a full-service eye care services provider. With eight offices around the Metro Atlanta area, the staff work with, and care for, thousands of peepers each year, accumulating a great deal of confidential patient information. “There was a minor network breach that affected our group,” says Brittany Hague, Health Information Manager/Privacy Officer for Thomas Eye Group. “Luckily, it didn’t result in anything going awry, but it did catch our attention and made us realize we needed to tighten up our security.” Not only did they view this as an opportunity to further protect patient data, they also saw it as a chance to retrain themselves on HIPAA best practices and put in place more formal security policies. After discussing it with their IT consultant, they were referred to Kardon.
“We started from scratch to update our compliance policies and procedures,” says Justin Armstrong, Senior Director of Information Technology. “To get things moving, Kardon had us go through a series of assessments to figure out where we could improve security and to expose possible gaps. They were incredibly thorough and left no stone unturned.” ComplyAssistant, a compliance management software created by a business partner, was used to further evaluate their HIPAA compliance electronically. “They provided several options to help us get things in order immediately and options for how to keep everything operating smoothly going forward.”
With Kardon’s guidance each step of the way, Thomas Eye Group created and implemented HIPAA and HITECH Act compliant policies, procedures and technology that protects their patients’ confidential data. “Just before we worked with Kardon, we partnered with a hospital that requested our policies and procedures for protecting patient information,” recalls Justin. “What we had at the time was informal, but thanks to Kardon’s help, we were able to show them exactly how we process information and the steps we take to maintain confidentiality in our practice.” Both Justin and Brittany state that the partnership created with Kardon is one that will last for quite some time. “They are incredible to work with, viewing our issues as their own and working with a sense of urgency that you don’t always see with other consultants,” say Brittany. “They keep us educated on the latest compliance regulations and are always there to answer any questions we may have.”
In His Own Words: Ben Seals, Executive Director
Kardon helped evaluate where we were, created a plan to move forward, and have partnered with us all along the way. We are now confident in our cybersecurity program and know we are doing all we can to protect patient data. I highly recommend them.