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What are the questions you should be asking vendors to verify how secure the systems are?

It is often difficult to get a clear understanding from vendors what the exact capabilities of their systems are to meet HIPAA and other security provisions. The following list of questions will help you start a productive dialog with your system vendor.

  • Does the vendor's application include the security features that are required to operate the system securely?
  • Is the vendor's application certified by the CCHIT?
  • Has the vendor applied sufficient controls in its development process to ensure the absence of serious software vulnerabilities? 
  • How does the vendor manage software fixes released by the underlying platform providers?
  • How does the vendor manage its own personnel who access your EHR system for support purposes?

Resource:
Detailed list of questions for EHR vendor go to exit disclaimer.  Developed by Tunitas.

Resources on secure development methodologies:
CLASPgo to exit disclaimer (Comprehensive, Lightweight Application Security Process)
OWASPgo to exit disclaimer or (Open Web Application Security Project). 
Microsoft's Secure Development Lifecyclego to exit disclaimer (or SDL)
Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluationgo to exit disclaimer

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