The Cybersecurity Risks of Healthcare Interoperability and Telehealth: A Two-Part Triage

Part One: The Risks of Cybersecurity in the Health System

In a two-part Triage series, Gina Bertolini, Sarah Carlins, and Jianne McDonald explore the growing cybersecurity risks faced by healthcare providers and health systems across the nation. Over the past five years, cybersecurity incidents involving healthcare providers have increased significantly. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) within HHS reported a nearly 300% surge in large data breaches involving ransomware from 2018 to 2022. As interoperability becomes a key government priority and remote care models gain popularity, the demand for big data to support complex technologies poses ongoing risks to healthcare providers.

In the first part of the series, Sarah Carlins and Jianne McDonald examine recent recommendations by OCR for healthcare providers and patients regarding cybersecurity measures in telehealth. They also discuss 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. Healthcare providers must prioritize cybersecurity measures to protect patient data while maintaining efficient communication with patients during remote care.

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