Strong cybersecurity is crucial in the health care sector, but executives do not always understand why, and including health information managers in risk assessments can help drive home the point, says AHIMA Chief Knowledge Officer Cheryl Martin. AHIMA's recommendations for cybersecurity also include applying layered security controls, partnering with third-party experts, prioritizing interoperability, and including business associates in end-to-end security standards and frameworks.
Hospitals and health systems are increasingly considering cybersecurity before purchasing medical devices and are including cybersecurity provisions in purchase contracts. Nearly every new medical device is essentially a small computer, and the medical device sector is coordinating cybersecurity efforts, says Cheryl Martin, AHIMA's chief knowledge officer, and voice assistants are also becoming cybertargets.
The eHealth Exchange, a nationwide health information network formed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT more than a decade ago, introduced a new gateway designed to data exchange in and between the public and private health care sectors. The gateway relies on an InterSystems platform integrated with the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources directory and will facilitate a "connect once" model while reducing the cost of data exchange, officials say.
Approximately 7,000 patients of a diagnostic and treatment center in Calgary, Alberta, may have had their personal health information compromised in a Gmail hack. A physician at the practice had used his personal email account to transmit patient information, and an investigation is underway, though there is no indication the hacker saw patient information.
An unauthorized entity gained access to two computer programs in Massachusetts General Hospital's neurology department, potentially compromising 10,000 patients' personal and medical data.
The FDA is modernizing its infrastructure, promoting interoperability, working more closely with the ONC and changing its approach to medical technology organizations, Principal Deputy Commissioner Amy Abernethy says. Abernethy wants to see clinical trial data transmitted to the FDA through APIs, reviewers and sponsors exchanging messages in real time, and data from EHRs used by the agency, developers and health care providers to evaluate medical product performance.
Top regulatory science priorities at the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health are unchanged from 2017, but they have been further developed and defined. Priorities include leveraging big data and real-world evidence in regulatory decisions, developing tools to streamline clinical trial design, developing more computational models and better incorporating patient input in the regulatory process.
A machine learning algorithm based on data from the American College of Cardiology's National Cardiovascular Data Registry accurately identifies patients at risk for dangerous bleeding during or after coronary surgery and could improve patient safety and prevent readmissions. The researchers developed the platform using a risk spectrum instead of sorting patients into either high- or low-risk categories and used retrospective risk decision models, but the model could be developed into a proactive decision tool that presents real-time data.
Two physicians in Michigan shut down their
otorhinolaryngology practice this year after a ransomware attack crippled their patient record system and they refused to pay the ransom. The health care sector is a particularly enticing target because health care providers are likely to pay the ransom to retrieve sensitive information, but there's no guarantee that hackers will live up to their end of the bargain or refrain from hitting the practice again, says Alex Hamerstone, a risk management expert at TrustedSec.
Sixty percent of health care providers and insurers responding to a Society of Actuaries survey say they use predictive analytics and expect to allocate at least 15% of expenditures this year to the technology, and many expect the investment to pay off within five years. Higher patient satisfaction and lower care costs are the executives' most-desired outcomes.
- Page 1