Protecting Healthcare Data in the Age of Telemedicine: A Two-Part Triage on Cybersecurity Risks for Hospitals and Health Systems

Part One: The Risks of Cybersecurity in the Health System

Gina Bertolini, Sarah Carlins, and Jianne McDonald recently delved into two recent initiatives by the Department of Health and Human Services that tackle cybersecurity risks faced by hospitals and health systems across the nation. In a two-part Triage series, they explored the increasing demand for big data to support complex technologies and the ongoing risks posed to healthcare providers due to interoperability and remote care models.

According to OCR within HHS, there has been a nearly 300% surge in large data breaches involving ransomware from 2018 to 2022. This increase in cybersecurity incidents involving healthcare providers has become a significant concern for both patients and providers alike. With interoperability being a key government priority and remote care models gaining popularity, it is important for healthcare providers to prioritize cybersecurity measures to protect patient data.

In the first part of the series, Sarah Carlins and Jianne McDonald examined recent recommendations by OCR for healthcare providers and patients regarding cybersecurity measures in telehealth. They also discussed the federal government’s emphasis on effective communication about the privacy and security of electronic health information as essential for quality care in telehealth settings.

As more healthcare providers move towards telehealth models, it is important for them to understand their responsibilities when it comes to protecting patient data. By implementing strong cybersecurity measures and educating patients about the importance of protecting their personal health information, healthcare providers can help prevent data breaches and ensure that patients receive high-quality care in telehealth settings.

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