When a hospital buys another hospital or physician practice, or a software vendor buys another vendor, how much thought about securing protected health information goes into the consolidation process before that process is complete?

Often, not enough, says Munzoor Shaikh, a senior manager at West Monroe Partners, a Chicago-based business and technology consulting firm. As part of its services, West Monroe examines the information infrastructure maturity and security, and conducts HIPAA/HITECH assessments for the organization being acquired. But there often are issues that the company being bought hasn’t tackled--and that the company buying it needs to know.

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