Friday, August 05, 2016
The Threat To Health Information And Ongoing Hospital Operations Is Scarily Real.
This appeared last week.
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.
By Tom Sullivan
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!
Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Friday, August 05, 2016