CMS Encourages Health Care Providers to Prepare for Cyber Attacks

Posted on Thursday, January 19, 2017 11:43 PM

With some of the world’s most famous websites getting assaulted by hackers (Twitter, Spotify, PayPal), cyber-attacks were extremely damaging in 2016.

With that being said, health care companies need to prepare since they’re now being targeted by hackers. There have been reports that providers and hospitals have been attacked by hackers in ransomware schemes throughout the United States.

The main concern cyber-attacks could have for the health care industry is the disruption to patient care. An effective cyber-attack could lead to the following:
• Missing patient information or orders
• Compromise of personal health information, leading to a violation of HIPAA
• In some cases, a facility might need to temporarily shut down due to loss of control over health records or other important computer systems

The following Conditions of Participation that are most impacted for facilities faced with cyber incidents include:
• Governing Body
• Medical Records/ Patient Records
• Nursing Services

In the event of a cyber-attack, CMS recommend that providers examine current policies and procedures to ensure response plans are in place. Some examples include:
• Training staff in the use of non-electronic record-keeping
• Pre-printed discharge instructions based on common or recurring patient care
• Familiarize staff with the knowledge of the paper medication administration record (MAR) process
• Pre-program phone/fax numbers into the fax machines to avoid delay if computer systems are unavailable

CMS encourages providers to implement cyber-security as an important component of their emergency plans and risk assessments.

For the full article, click here.

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