The healthcare industry experiences twice as many cyber attacks as compared to other industries, and it’s taking a toll. “Anyone building a picture of the state of cyber security in healthcare globally would struggle to find encouragement for the beleaguered hospital CIO,” writes HealthcareITNews.

The release of a new study only compounds the challenge. As it turns out, hospital patients are more likely to die of a heart attack in the wake of a cyber breach than in the absence of one. Share on X

Among hospitals that had experienced a breach between the years of 2012 and 2016, researchers found that as many as 36 additional heart attack deaths occurred, per 10,000 heart attack patient discharges annually, as compared to hospitals that did not experience a breach.

The researchers noted that, “Breach remediation efforts were associated with deterioration in timeliness of care and patient outcomes.” And that “Remediation activity may introduce changes that delay, complicate, or disrupt [health] IT and patient care processes.”

Experts suggest that examining the mechanics of how cyber security is applied to hospital systems will prove critical in uncovering how to most effectively prevent breaches, countering the difficult reality that this groundbreaking study unearthed.

In addition to strengthening their cyber security postures, one expert recommends that hospitals invest in complementary systems, “like radio frequency identification wristbands, biometric scans for fingerprints, or facial recognition” to prevent lag time caused by internet-based care.

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