Pete Palmer, CISSP, has joined MedAllies as chief security officer. He will be responsible for the oversight and ongoing management of MedAllies' information security program, ensuring the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data.
Palmer comes to MedAllies from Surescripts, which operates the nation's largest electronic prescribing network, where he served as director of information security since 2009. Previously, he held senior security positions at Wells Fargo and Boston Scientific.
"This is a tremendously exciting time to join MedAllies. The company is at an innovative stage, which is very appealing to me," Palmer said.
His role as leader of the company's security program will involve ensuring the security of the MedAllies National Direct Network, which is targeted at integrating certified EHRs used by providers in practices, hospitals and other care settings across the nation.
Currently, EHRs significantly improve clinical workflow efficiencies and quality within an organization. MedAllies sees EHR interoperability through Direct as moving those workflow improvements beyond an organization's walls to allow providers to work in unison as if they are part of one contiguous organization.
"The improvements in care will be limitless, and I want to make sure that the patient's health care information is secure at all times. Interoperability means nothing if the information is not secure and the patients can't trust these evolving networks," Palmer said. "I couldn't take this responsibility more seriously. Our country's health hinges on it."
He sees no conflict between ensuring health IT is secure and private, and making it consistent with physician workflows and easy for providers to use. "People talk about the tension between security and convenience, but I see it as a partnership that serves patients and providers. Security and privacy are integral to any workflow," he said. "As providers communicate with each other, patients need to be confident their privacy and the security of their records are maintained."
Palmer plays an active role in many industry organizations. He serves as chair of the Kantara Initiative Leadership Council, an industry and community organization that enables trust in identity services, and has held leadership roles in Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society(HIMSS) work groups and task forces. He has written numerous articles and white papers; in 1996, he was lead author of The Web Server Handbook, one of the first Web server programming books.
Palmer is the latest addition to the senior leadership team at MedAllies. He joins the company at a crucial time as it continues its expansion as a national provider of interoperability solutions.
"As we continue to expand, we are mindful of the importance of building user trust and in doing so, selecting the right person to lead this effort internally is essential. Inadequate security and the ensuing lack of trust could derail interoperability efforts and ultimately stall health care transformation," said MedAllies CEO A. John Blair, III, MD. "Pete brings considerable practical experience, industry knowledge and the technical expertise we need. I am delighted to welcome him to our senior leadership team, and I look forward to working with him as we move forward with our vision of interoperability for all."