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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.


3M, Google unit team up for population-health management tech


Companies are pilling into population-health management.

MedCity News reports that on Oct. 10, and only  an hour after Siemens Healthineers announced a deal with IBM Watson Health, “3M Health Information Systems said it was teaming with the Google-affiliated Verily Life Sciences to develop technology to support population-health management. Both partnerships will focus on financial as well as clinical aspects of the field.”

But,  whereas  in  the case of Siemens, the IBM partnership “marks the German company’s entry into the field of population health management. 3M already is operating in that segment, albeit mostly on the fringes.

“Verily, formerly called Google Life Sciences, will contribute its advanced analytics capabilities to St. Paul, Minn.-based 3M’s existing offerings in data coding and risk stratification….”

“In both partnerships …the participants will be building new technologies as they try to take a bite out of the growing market for IT to support value-based care.”

To read the MedCity News article, please hit this link.

Tips for a successful hospital CIO tenure

Kumar Chatani, chief information officer  and executive vice president of New York-based Mount Sinai Health System, shares his approach to CIO leadership with Becker’s Hospital Review. His suggestions  (and some of this is paraphrased by Becker’s) include:

1. Think of yourself as a service provider.Information technology touches and supports nearly every role in a healthcare organization from the C-suite to clinicians to patients. CIOs are at the forefront of IT.

2. Know how to communicate. “Avoid IT jargon: speak directly and simply,” he says.

3. Play an active role in on-boarding new leaders. Hospital leadership is subject to turnover and the C-suite will constantly have new members.  When someone new joins the organization, extend a helping hand.

4. Be prepared for your role to evolve. For the past decade, IT has migrated from a back office function to deeply impacting how healthcare is delivered. This trend will continue in healthcare, affecting how CIOs operate. “The role will blur and spread deeper into business operations,” he predicts.




Why do some hospital mergers flop?


By Art Young, about the legendary banker.

Becker’s Hospital Review looks at why some merged hospitals fail to achieve the economies of scale touted by merger architects. Mukesh Gangwal and George Whetsell, managing partners at Chicago-based Prism Healthcare Partners, weigh in on these matters. Here are a few of their remarks:

“Hospitals] merge with a great plan, but don’t implement all of the things they said they were going to do to gain economies of scale. You can build that out in the plan, but once you merge, the way you get those economies — you have to let people go — which is difficult….”

Most healthcare — it’s still local. They have a large stake in the community they serve. Their boards represent community leaders. This puts inherent pressure to not take action that [negatively] affects people, the community and their reputation….”

“A huge percentage of hospitals are nonprofit and community-based. They are not trying to make huge profits — they are trying to not lose money. There are a lot of social and community service dimensions to their mission. So it’s very service-oriented. Letting people go is very counter to the mission and culture of these organizations. Even holding people accountable [is difficult]….”

“As systems get bigger and gain more hospitals, they often create a corporate office. Functions like planning, marketing, IT, payroll, so on — they basically pull out of hospitals and centralize in a shared support office. There is often a huge amount of unhappiness with the level of service provided by the shared functions….”




Push for IT to support population health


“Crowding” (photo modified in PhotoShop), by DAVID STONE, at Alpers Fine Art, Andover, Mass. He shot this from a balcony overlooking the front plaza of the Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston.

A Peer60 report said that 60 percent of institutions plan to invest in IT infrastructure in 2015 that could help support population health and patient engagement.

MedCity News noted: “Not surprisingly, ICD-10 migration topped the list of planned issues for hospital IT staffs, with 58 percent of all hospital leaders indicating it was a priority. The number jumps to 70 percent among groups that will specifically be working with the transition.”

“The critical market for patient engagement is still forming as almost 40 percent of hospitals don’t have a solution yet,” the report said. “That isn’t stopping hospitals that already have patient engagement solutions from making changes, though.”

“In other words, the population health management market in 2015 is going to be absolutely gigantic,” the report states.

But only 25 percent of hospitals in the survey said they plan to buy  patient-data-security IT in 2015, according to the report — despite some very bad hacking in the past year.


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