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Some patients fear Trump administration may use EHRs to discriminate against them


With the relentless hacking and infamous cybersecurity breaches becoming increasingly worrisome, patients are quite right to be leery of  having their personal information go into electronic health records. And now, with the Trump administration about to take over in Washington, there’s even more fear.

Writes Marla Durben Hirsch in Fiercehealthcare,  “{T}here is a deeper, darker reason patients might withhold information: the apparent imminent change of our society and its laws post-election.

“President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on a promise he would crack down on immigrants and Muslims. The turn of the nation to the right will likely also affect the LGBTQ community.

“Now it’s not just the fear that an EHR breach will reveal a patient’s medical information and cause financial harm or medical identity theft. Now a breach could affect a patent’s personal safety if information is used against them.

“For instance, section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act prohibits providers from discriminating against patients on the basis of sex, including sexual identity. The rule implementing this provision was just finalized. Providers are being encouraged to add to their EHRs preferred names of transgendered patients if they differ from the gender on their drivers’ licenses and include other identifying information into the systems.

“But if the Affordable Care Act is repealed and LGBTQ people lose these protections, they may face discrimination or harassment. So what happens if patients don’t tell providers that they are LGBTQ? Physicians could miss conditions that affect their patients at a higher rate, such as depression and substance abuse. A physician might miss important cancer screening tests if transgender patients don’t feel safe sharing personal information.”

To read more, please hit this link.

Seeking new specialists for the C-Suite


How do hospitals respond to the need for experts in value-based reimbursement,  population health, cybersecurity and systems’ consolidation in hospital C-Suites?

“Healthcare organizations are becoming larger and more complex,” says Lydia Ostermeier, vice president for senior executive search at B.E. Smith, told Becker’s Hospital Review. So “C-suite leaders’ roles have grown tremendously in scope. Adding additional members to the team helps take some of that load off their plate.”

Several new roles are becoming especially familiar and popular, according to Ms. Ostermeier. These include chief experience officer, chief population-health officer, chief medical-information officer, chief nursing-information officer, chief strategy officer and chief safety officer.

Ms. Ostermeir said that  when an organization needs an executive to focus exclusively on population-health management, cybersecurity, patient satisfaction or any other concentration, they should first consider the following five questions, in Becker’s words:

1. “How will the new role create value?”

2. “What will be the new leader’s primary duties?”

3. “How will the new position change the current organizational structure?”

4. “What skill sets must the leader in the given role possess?” 

5. “How will the organization communicate the change to the staff?”

To read the article, please hit this link.

How hospitals should deal with cybersecurity crises


Chris Williams,  chief cybersecurity architect at Leidos Health, based in San Diego, offers an action plan for dealing with  cybersecurity crises in hospitals and health systems. He writes: “When a cyberattack happens, staff, hospital leaders will need a plan of action to deal with a potentially chaotic situation. In general, the recovery process will take place according to the following sequence, starting with the initial report”:

  • “Identification of the crisis  and activation of crisis processes.
  • “Allocation of outside resources to support crisis operations.
  • “Investigation and containment of the cyber intrusion or malfunction.
  • “Preparation to rebuild and restore IT capabilities.
  • “Closure of critical cybersecurity gaps if during a cyber incursion occurred.
  • “Establishment of interim IT capabilities.
  • “Achievement of full operating capabilities for IT.
  • “Implementation of long-term cybersecurity improvements.
  • “Resolution of regulatory and legal consequences.’’

To read his full article on hospital cybersecurity crises, please hit this link.


Mr. Robot on healthcare cybersecurity


Video: The new USA hackers-start-a-revolution show, Mr. Robot, brutally critiques healthcare IT  security.

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