Healthcare’s Battle Against Cybersecurity Threats: HHS Takes Steps to Protect Patients’ Data

Part One: The Risks of Cybersecurity in the Health System

In a two-part Triage series, Gina Bertolini, Sarah Carlins, and Jianne McDonald delve into the recent initiatives by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) aimed at addressing cybersecurity risks faced by hospitals and health systems across the country. With healthcare providers experiencing an increase in cybersecurity incidents over the past five years, HHS has taken steps to mitigate these risks.

In the first part of the series, Sarah Carlins and Jianne McDonald examine the recommendations made by HHS for healthcare providers and patients regarding cybersecurity measures in telehealth. They also discuss the importance of effective communication about the privacy and security of electronic health information in ensuring quality care in telehealth settings.

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, healthcare providers must address ongoing risks posed by big data supporting complex technologies. To tackle these risks, HHS has implemented several initiatives aimed at improving cybersecurity measures for healthcare providers.

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