6 Takeaways from the Becker’s Hospital Review 3rd Annual Health IT and Revenue Cycle Conference

The Becker's Hospital Review 3rd Annual Health IT + Revenue Cycle Conference, held recently in Chicago, brings together hospital and health system chief information officers, IT executives, and revenue cycle leaders to discuss the role of the CIO, cybersecurity, data analytics, mobile health, EMR issues, denials, and revenue cycle challenges and trends.

To kick off the event, attendees were treated with a keynote talk by George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States of America. We also heard from healthcare industry leaders about everything from leveraging digital technology and that it’s about service not just technology, to the future of cybersecurity.

Here are a few key takeaways from the conference:

  1. Higher cyber risk - Due to healthcare’s complexity, the industry is subject to higher cybersecurity risks due to distributed access to medical and billing records.
  2. Class-action suits are on the rise - The healthcare sector is seeing a trend in class-action suits due to data breaches at several high-profile companies.
  3. Increasing ransomware cost concerns - Healthcare organizations are more likely to pay ransomware demands when an attack does occur due to the critical nature of medical records and the potential impact on patient safety. 
  4. Many healthcare technology challenges – Complex regulatory requirements with HIPAA security and privacy, clinics and hospitals providing ‘rolling’ access to a wide variety of authorized personnel, and inadequately secured, network-connected medical devices that provide vulnerable entry points.
  5. A shift in security priorities - Discussion focused on shifting priority to securing the data at the file or record level and that securing the data included encrypting the data on the network/cloud and endpoint devices.
  6. Increased user oversight - Integrating ID management with access controls, explicitly controlling access to data, as required by function, as well as analyzing user behavior by understanding the who, what, where, when, and how data is created, managed, and accessed.

With so many factors to consider, it’s clear that this is an industry in need of advanced security controls. With budgets and resources always strong considerations, and with ransomware and insider threats more prominent in healthcare than any industry, the IT and security teams need to make their tools work like members of their team. The right email security controls with advanced threat protection capabilities can often provide the best first line of defense against these threats.

The healthcare industry must do everything possible to detect attacks before patient data is compromised. As this industry moves to cloud solutions to reduce complexity and cost, those that lead the pack will see the benefit of freed up resources to focus on strategic initiatives. This is where any healthcare organization wants to be – providing the best patient care, while doing everything possible to keep patient data secure.

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