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Patient Danger: Ransomware and Cybersecurity a Top Concern

1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Posted on Dec 05, 2017, 10 a.m.


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Patient Danger: Ransomware and Cybersecurity a Top Concern

Cyber Security is a real concern that doctors and other healthcare professionals are mostly not prepared for. Doctors, especially, should have stricter Cyber Security protocols, and all healthcare professionals should have some sort of insurance policy to protect against financial damages that may come with Cyber Security breaches. At we are looking for Cyber Security Insurance policies to help our medical professional community to protect themselves and practices against possible simple mistakes that could result in devastating financial disasters both personally and to a practice. If you are aware of any such insurance, please email contact information to:
Dr. Vince Liguori, Medical Editor

This year cybersecurity and ransomware have been a significant issue across all industries. Now ECRI is alerting the healthcare industry to the potential danger that ransomware and malware pose to patients on its annual list, Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2018. “Ransomware and other types of malicious software programs (malware) can disrupt healthcare delivery operations, hindering the delivery of care and putting patients at risk,” ECRI states in the report. “These programs infiltrate a network, propagate through connected devices and systems, and encrypt data, disabling user access, software, and IT assets. Multiple variants of ransomware and other malware have infected healthcare facilities and other organizations throughout the world.”

ECRI’s top 10 hazards are as follows:

  1. Ransomware and Other Cybersecurity Threats to Healthcare Delivery Can Endanger Patients
  2. Endoscope Reprocessing Failures Continue to Expose Patients to Infection Risk
  3. Mattresses and Covers May Be Infected by Body Fluids and Microbiological Contaminants
  4. Missed Alarms May Result from Inappropriately Configured Secondary Notification Devices and Systems
  5. Improper Cleaning May Cause Device Malfunctions, Equipment Failures, and Potential for Patient Injury
  6. Unholstered Electrosurgical Active Electrodes Can Lead to Patient Burns
  7. Inadequate Use of Digital Imaging Tools May Lead to Unnecessary Radiation Exposure
  8. Workarounds Can Negate the Safety Advantages of Bar-Coded Medication Administration Systems
  9. Flaws in Medical Device Networking Can Lead to Delayed or Inappropriate Care
  10. Slow Adoption of Safer Enteral Feeding Connectors Leaves Patients at Risk

View last year’s list from ECRI.

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