The world has significantly changed in the past decade and the healthcare sector has changed with it. Many healthcare organisations are now digital and digital tools enable patient safety and care. Electronic health records (EHRs) have replaced paper records. Picture archiving and communication systems have replaced film and light boxes. Computer-implemented or enabled hardware and software have replaced the mechanical systems of yesterday. In some instances, virtual visits have replaced in-person visits. And patients can transmit information about their health status and condition in real time to their clinicians via various software applications and devices.
As a result of our digital transformation, electronic data is the lifeblood of the healthcare organisation. Electronic data, in the healthcare context, must be kept confidential, integrity must be preserved, and it must be made available on demand wherever and whenever it is needed. But if electronic data is not appropriately protected, clinical care and the business of healthcare can grind to a halt. This is why ransomware has been a significant concern for many healthcare organisations, as Lee Kim, Director Privacy and Security, HIMSS, explains in this article.