Vizient, a performance improvement company that has 3,100 healthcare delivery systems as members, has launched a cybersecurity task force to develop new standards for the safety and security of medical devices.

The task force includes information security leaders of 25 member delivery systems who will engage device manufacturers, suppliers, cybersecurity consultants, government officials and other industry experts, says Ross Carevic, director of technology sourcing operations at Vizient.

Ross Carevic
Ross Carevic

Vizient serves more than half of the nation’s acute care hospitals and their affiliated physicians. The company acts as a group purchasing organization contracting with suppliers to get negotiated pricing for medical devices, pharmaceuticals, bed pans, snow removal services and other needs.

The goals of the cybersecurity program are to facilitate industry collaboration to minimize the risk and cost of medical device cybersecurity by developing standard practices that can reduce risk, as well as assessing the costs of addressing risks, and bringing providers and suppliers together to have a dialogue and figure out cybersecurity solutions.

An early project is to create a roadmap to advance cybersecurity maturity across the healthcare industry.

Also See: NIST seeks industry help to secure tiny IoT medical devices

Task force members hope to augment the Food and Drug Administration’s recently released Medical Device Action Plan by working with stakeholders to facilitate the public-private collaboration envisioned by the FDA, Carevic says.

“We are viewing this from an entire industry perspective, not just for Vizient members and suppliers,” he explains. “Wherever possible, we intend to make key deliverables publicly available, which will help suppliers and providers prioritize their remediation plans for older medical devices and ensure appropriate safeguards are included for the benefit of all patients.”

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