Looking back on 2021, healthcare organizations have been pushed to their technological limit. Increased patient demand and staffing shortages have forced nurses, physicians, pharmacists, and lab technicians to look to the digital space to increase efficiency, provide adequate care, and protect PHI data. As healthcare organizations adopt a more digital approach, what does this mean for the future of healthcare? Let’s look at the top trends that I predict are here to stay.
Looking back to 2021, the healthcare industry was challenged to adapt to patient surges, remote workers, staffing shortages, and more. Throughout the past year, hospital organizations and HIPAA pivoted to be nimbler with actions such as relaxing compliance guidelines on telemedicine to improve patient care but may also have created new security gaps.
During our second iatricSystems Fall Exchange, we brought together industry leaders and healthcare organizations to discuss today’s challenges, including the current threat landscape and how to protect your organization from internal and external threats.
When you think of October, you likely think about spooky season. Ghosts, witches, black cats, and monsters galore. But in the world of technology, there’s not much scarier than the overwhelming gloom of a potential cyber threat. So, it makes sense that Cybersecurity Awareness Month would also take place in October. Instead of sending shivers through your spine with scary stories of breaches and ransomware threats, we’ll skip to the good part. We’re here to help you #BeCyberSmart by offering actionable advice and tips you can use to improve and prioritize your cybersecurity efforts right now.
At the beginning of the pandemic, hospitals had to jump into action to find safer ways to deliver patient care without putting patients at risk of contracting COVID-19 in doctors’ offices and hospitals. The solution was telehealth, and it was widely adopted very quickly. A 2020 consumer survey found that the number of people who have used telehealth doubled during the pandemic, from 39.4 percent pre-COVID-19 to 79.5 percent post-quarantine.
A few weeks ago, the largest global ransomware attack on record occurred, and cyber criminals demanded $70 million in ransoms. While this attack targeted the large-scale global software company, Kaseya, it impacted between 800 and 1,500 businesses of various sizes and industries. The hacker group behind the attack also previously targeted and successfully breached the Las Vegas-based University Medical Center in late June of this year.
One thing the pandemic has taught us is that many roles can benefit from the flexibility of working from home – even in the healthcare industry. Yet as more organizations weigh the pros and cons of a hybrid workforce, many healthcare IT teams are already feeling its impact on cybersecurity.
Last month, we hosted the iatricSystems Spring Exchange, where we brought together industry leaders and healthcare organizations to discuss today’s challenges. A big topic of discussion was how today’s hospitals leverage artificial intelligence and automation into their patient privacy monitoring process.
As we put 2020 in the rear-view mirror, the only way to see if we’re making progress is to take a quick glance back. The pandemic made hospitals a large target for malicious cyber threats, and when you look at the data, you’ll see the spikes of data breaches throughout the year.
It was recently announced that a ransomware group that stole sensitive data files during an October cyberattack on Chatham County’s government systems, released the information on the dark and light web. The group published two batches of data containing protected health information and personally identifiable information, which has been viewed more than 30,000 times.