Part One: The Risks of Cybersecurity in the Health System

Cybersecurity in Healthcare: Addressing Rising Risks Amid Telehealth Growth and Big Data Demands

Gina Bertolini, Sarah Carlins, and Jianne McDonald explore two recent initiatives by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in a two-part Triage series. The first part focuses on cybersecurity risks faced by hospitals and health systems across the nation. Over the past five years, there has been a significant increase in cybersecurity incidents involving healthcare providers, with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) within HHS reporting 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.


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