Patient outcomes at risk from cybersecurity threats
Healthcare organizations, stakeholders, and public policymakers need to come together to combat cybersecurity threats and provide baseline best practices and incentives to safeguard systems and data, as well as patient privacy and safety. This is the call to action detailed by First Health Advisory CEO Carter Groome, in his recent interview with Healthcare NOW Radio host Jim Tate.
This episode of Tate Chronicles focused on some of the main topics of the State of Cybersecurity Virtual Summit, hosted by Digital Health Insights (DHI) on Feb. 8, 2023. Groome was a featured panelist, and First Health Advisory sponsored the summit.
The base issue at hand is the nonstop cyberattacks on health care providers coupled with the lack of security readiness across the healthcare industry. “[Providers] are woefully deficient in terms of our resilience and preparedness for attacks,” Groome stated.
Picking up his topic from the summit, Groome highlighted the idea that a federal incentive program, much like meaningful use for EHRs, could motivate organizations to improve critical infrastructure and the resilience of the entire healthcare ecosystem. He cited incentives proposed by Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia), as well as swelling interest in the idea from associations including CHIME and AMA.
Getting the federal legislative and executive branches on board with incentives, workflow solutions and HIPAA modernization will require some level of harmonization, which still needs to be defined in terms of best practices. Currently, there are many different efforts tackling cybersecurity for the various types of challenges providers face, from devices to interoperating records systems.
The bottom line for cybersecurity urgency is that patient care is greatly impacted by cybersecurity threats, including ransomware breaches, supply chain attacks and illegal data sharing/tracking. “If you have cancer treatment and [care is] delayed by a month, what impact does that have on the outcome of health?” Groome posited.
Despite the work and harmonization still needed, Groome offered providers some advice on preventing and responding to cybersecurity threats based on First Health Advisory’s deep experience helping all types of providers with their security, privacy, technology, and efficiency needs.
To access the State of Cybersecurity Virtual Summit on demand, visit DHI.
Listen to First Health Advisory CEO Carter Groome draw upon his cyber health, managed services, and vendor leadership background to benefit First Health’s commercial and Federal clients and partners.