The COVID-19 pandemic put a spotlight on the fierce dedication and commitment of healthcare workers as we watched them run into the fire, during surge after surge, to care for their patients and support their colleagues. The pandemic also put a spotlight on the psychological, emotional, and physical trauma they endured due to system inefficiencies and supply and staffing shortfalls.
The growing wave of ransomware incidents that we saw toward the end of 2019 continued in 2020. Now, however, healthcare organizations are faced with a diabolical twist—in addition to the operational disruption, threat actors are now routinely stealing data and threatening to publish it online as an extra inducement for a ransom payment.
In early 2020, the FBI issued a warning to individuals and entities, including health systems, to be on the lookout for robocalls making fraudulent offers to sell large amounts of PPE such as respiratory masks or other medical devices. These scams would often demand advance payments with no intent of delivery.
According to BDO’s 2021 healthcare digital transformation survey, respondents identified their top three areas of healthcare investment interest as telehealth (named by 75% of respondents, up from 42% in 2019), EHR interoperability (64%, up from 43%), and patient portals and digital messaging systems (56%, up from 50%).
The bill, now with the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, would require OSHA to develop an enforceable healthcare-specific standard around workplace violence prevention. Hospitals, home health agencies, long-term care facilities, and others would be required to develop and implement a comprehensive workplace violence protection plan in compliance with the standard’s requirements.
Addressing SDOH is complicated. It cannot be solved without collaboration. The old adage “It takes a village” truly applies here. While providers often focus on putting sophisticated population health technologies in place to grasp SDOH, data is just one piece of the puzzle. Equally important is a well-defined and collaborative action plan.
Clinicians and other professionals who see patients on a daily basis aren’t necessarily thinking about cybersecurity from a patient safety standpoint. That makes password requirements, security education and training, and other requirements seem less directly connected to patient care and safety—even though they actually are integral to both.
Automation in healthcare grows more present all the time. In the pharmacy, robotics and other automation systems now help us maintain inventories, dispense medications, and reduce time, cost, and errors. Because medicine cannot operate through these solutions alone, maintaining the human connection remains a priority. But how do we balance human and machine for the best patient outcomes?
COVID-19 profoundly changed the point-of-care ecosystem. Business as usual was no longer possible, and healthcare organizations had to reassess the point of care in order to keep staff and patients safe. Making the best of an unprecedented situation, the industry saw new ideas, new workflows, and new technologies emerge, enabling game-changing best practices that are set to continue long after the pandemic is over.
I-PASS has developed methods for improving communication during transitions—and the I-PASS Institute has just celebrated its fifth year using its process. Partnering with more than 100 U.S. hospitals, the I-PASS Institute and the I-PASS Study Group have seen significant successes over the past decade.