At HHS, we’re working today with an eye on the horizon. We’re committed to building a health care system that provides better care, spends our health care dollars in smarter ways, and puts patients at the center of their care. Our aim is to strengthen health care so that it works for the health of every American.
Our vision for this health care system is one where a patient can easily check their own medical record, where a patient’s different clinicians, from pharmacists to nurses to physicians, can more seamlessly work together to keep that patient healthy, and where treatment can easily be tailored to a specific patient’s needs.
The key to unlocking that vision of a modern health care system is joining the data revolution that has already transformed so much of our society. Just recently, Secretary Burwell spoke at the 2016 conference of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. She spoke about our need to unlock data to bring health care into the 21st century and how the security of patient data is essential to our progress.
As she told the audience, “People should be able to easily and securely access their electronic health information and send it to any desired location. They need to be able to understand how their information can be shared and used. And they must be assured that this information will be effectively and safely used to benefit their health and that of their community.”
Today, we’re taking a significant step to improve the safety of the data and security of life-saving medical devices across our health care system by announcing the membership of the Health Care Industry Cybersecurity Task Force.
The members of this Task Force are leaders in government and private industry. They’re innovators in technology and pioneers in health care. They represent organizations of various sizes, and they hail from different parts of the country.
Over the next year, these individuals will collectively look across industries and sectors to find the best ways organizations of all types are keeping data and connected medical devices safe and secure. They’ll discuss these ideas among themselves and, in the next year, they’ll report their findings to Congress and the public. They’ll also develop materials to share widely, ensuring every organization that plays a part in our health care system can protect the data that that is part of this system.
As President Obama has made clear, cybersecurity is one of the most serious security challenges that our nation faces. So as we look to transform our health care system into one that works better for all Americans, we need to ensure it works safely for all Americans. We need to protect the data at the foundation of our health care system. That’s our commitment here at HHS, and it’s why we’re so excited to launch the Health Care Industry Cybersecurity Task Force.