Friday, August 05, 2016

The Threat To Health Information And Ongoing Hospital Operations Is Scarily Real.

This appeared last week.

OIG: 60 percent of hospitals reported unplanned EHR disruption - before rise of ransomware

The Office of the Inspector General posted research from 2014 so there’s reason to believe the proliferation of cyberattacks and malware could create even more downtime. OIG recommended that hospitals institute and continuously update contingency plans.
July 25, 2016 01:01 AM
Nearly 60 percent of hospitals have experienced an EHR outage. According to a new report from the Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, in fact, 25 percent of those that have had EHR downtime said it delayed patient care. 
Put another way: 15 percent of hospitals have had a dysfunctional EHR negatively impact their ability to treat patients and 9 percent were forced to reroute patient care. What’s more, 20 percent of the outages lasted more than eight hours.
OIG found that the top cause of EHR outages is attributable to hardware malfunctioning, internet connectivity problems, power failures, natural disasters and it’s worth noting that hacking attacks only accounted for 1 percent of EHR downtime incidents. 
Therein lies the rub: OIG’s data was collected in 2014. Before hackers stole medical records from Sony, before cyberthieves made off with data on some 80 million Anthem patients – and prior to ransomware becoming a household phrase in healthcare.  
“Since we administered this review awareness of cybersecurity threats, health information technology has grown,” HHS Inspector Daniel Levinson wrote in the report. “Stakeholders in government, healthcare, and information technology sectors have raised concerns about vulnerabilities in networked medical devices that may put hospital networks and EHR systems at risk.”  
More worrying info here:
The article certainly emphasises just how the treat environment seems to have gone up in the last couple of years. Time to be very alert and to plan ahead!
David.

2 comments:

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

For those not watching the twittersphere go ballistic about the census and the tweets re myhealthrecord, here's a little gem.

It was retweeted by @AuDigitalHealth, The Australian Digital Health Agency, so it has official blessing.

"Health Consumers Qld @HCQconsumerorg
Paul Madden DOH: We need to join up "islands" of data through interoperability. #digitalhealth @qldclinsenate"

This has been retweeted in #censusfail and elsewhere as evidence that the Department of Health is quite open about joining up data. And, as they haven't been specific, it is assumed to include myhealthrecord and the census etc.

What I'd like to know is does this "joining up of islands of data" include that on mental health?

Anybody know anything about this?

Anonymous said...

Paul Madden is not only unqualified for the job he is probably the biggest threat to interoperability the nation has. Island of data, please give us a break sounds like a line from a Kenny Rogers song.