May 17, 2020

The best US hospitals for obstetrics of 2015

Hospital Leadership
Obstetrics
Mercy Hospital
Overlake Medical Center
Admin
3 min
Overlake Medical Center | Bellevue, Washington
Choosing a hospital for obstetrics is more in the patient's control than you may realize.No matter what health insurance plan patients have, or wher...

Choosing a hospital for obstetrics is more in the patient's control than you may realize. No matter what health insurance plan patients have, or where they live in the U.S., they will have some options regarding their obstetrician and the hospital where they give delivery.

As the following article looks at, if patients are looking for “Adoption plan help: Making a hospital plan”, they do have more options than they might realize.

RELATED TOPIC: TOP 10: Tips to improve patient satisfaction

Here are some hospitals around the country that stand out for making baby deliveries better for both mom and baby.

Southeast Region

Wellington Regional Medical Center | Wellington, Florida

The Wellington Regional Medical Center offers a Centre for Family Beginnings. The program communicates WRMC's dedication to the care of newborns and their moms.

Features include 18 labor and delivery rooms, a 3-bay triage for delivery emergencies, 19 post-partum rooms for moms and dads, specialized, professional and board-certified care around breastfeeding training and practice, and what every mother wants, but didn't know she wanted—on-site baby photography services by a local, professional photography service.

Southwest Region

Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns | San Diego, California

The Maternal Infant Services Unit at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital in San Diego boasts a host of services designed to make expectant mothers feel more secure about the birth of their babies.

RELATED TOPIC: TOP 10: Best children's hospitals on the West Coast

Amenities include sleeper sofas and linens in maternity rooms for overnight visitors and spouses, breastfeeding support by trained nurses, free home care classes for mothers or anyone else in the family who wants information about caring for the baby at home, a complimentary diaper bag filled with diapers and other supplies, and a resources list for continued support after new mothers leave the hospital.

Northwest Region

Overlake Medical Center | Bellevue, Washington

The Childbirth Center at Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue takes a proactive approach to childbirth and childcare. These pre-childbirth amenities are valuable for first time mothers and they include coursework on taking care during pregnancy, relationship counseling, and Lamaze classes for both parents.

In addition, the Overlake Medical Center offers childbirth classes that inform expectant mothers of what they will experience, as well as nursing help.

Northeast Region

Mercy Hospital | Portland, Maine

Expectant mothers can't do better than the Birthplace at Mercy, a birthplace center for moms at Mercy Hospital in Portland.

One of the first hospitals in the country to provide private rooms for childbearing, Mercy Hospital continues to lead the way in new mom’s services. If there ever was a spa-like setting for expectant mothers, Birthplace at Mercy is the one.

RELATED TOPIC: TOP 10: Best hospitals to work for in the Northeast USA

They offer gigantic private rooms, private Jacuzzi tubs in every room, day beds for spouses, free Wi-Fi, and on-demand room service. Giving birth at Birthplace at Mercy is like giving birth in a 5-star hotel.

Your hospital can do a lot more to make the birthing experience spectacular for new parents. Why not take the lead and make sure your hospital's name is on the list for next year?

About the author: Kate Supino writes extensively about best business practices.

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Jun 13, 2021

How healthcare can safeguard itself against cyberthreats

#Cybersecurity
#cyberattacks
#digitaltransformation
#covid19
Jonathan Miles
6 min
Jonathan Miles, Head of Strategic Intelligence and Security Research at Mimecast, tells us how the healthcare sector can protect itself from attacks

One of the most fundamental lessons from the COVID crisis is that health should always be a priority.  In a similar fashion to the human body that frequently fights off viruses and foreign invaders that intend to cause it harm, the sector itself is now a prime target for another type of external threat: cyberattacks.

The figures speak for themselves: between December and January this year, hospitals in the UK were at 89% capacity, with 7,000 fewer available beds than there usually are. As the pandemic increased pressure on hospitals, clinics, and research facilities to create a treatment for patients globally, it has left the sector exposed to hackers who, like a virus, have been targeting it relentlessly and evolving their tactics. 

From patient records being held ransom, to fake emails claiming to originate from the UN WHO, the NHS, or vaccine centres, through to attacks on the cold supply chain to find out the secret formula of the COVID vaccine, the healthcare industry is facing constant cyberattacks and struggling to cope. This threat is unlikely to go away anytime soon – and as such, the industry needs to take a proactive, preventative stance to stay safe in a dynamic digital world. 

Going digital 

The responsive nature of healthcare – particularly of hospitals – means that efficiency is crucial to the industry’s standard operations. To support this, the sector has been embracing technological advancements that can improve the quality of work, enabling staff to meet pressing deadlines, and enhancing patient care. For example, the industry has been digitising records and improving its ways of working through digital means over the past few years. 

This shift is critical to offer high quality patient care; yet, it also means the sector has become more dependent on IT, which can come with a risk if cybersecurity processes employed are deemed as inadequate. 

Without the correct security measures in place, the desired efficiency gains realised, can be easily lost in a heartbeat. Simply put, an elementary glitch in the system can have a tremendous ripple effect on many areas, from accessing patient records and conducting scans, to maintaining physical security and protecting the intellectual property of experimental treatment development.

To prevent this, healthcare organisations need to ensure they’re considering cybersecurity as part of their overall digital transformation strategy – and setting the right foundations to create a culture where safety goes hand in hand with patient care. 

Strengthening defences

Before implementing cybersecurity process, healthcare organisations need to assess the potential risks they face. Depending on how much confidential data the trust has, where it is stored, who has access to it and via which means, the cybersecurity strategy and associated solutions will change. 

It’s fair to say that a medical device start-up where all employees have a corporate-sanctioned laptop and access data via a VPN will have radically different needs to a large hospital with hundreds of frontline workers connecting to the hospital’s Wi-Fi using their personal device. 

These requirements will pale by comparison to a global pharmaceutical giant with offices in multiple locations, a large R&D department researching new treatments for complex diseases and a fully integrated supply chain. Considering the existing setup and what the organisations is looking to achieve with its digital transformation strategy will therefore have an immediate impact on the cybersecurity strategy.

Despite this, there are fundamentals that any organisation should implement: 
Review and test your back-up policy to ensure it is thorough and sufficient – By checking that the organisation’s back-up is running smoothly, IT teams can limit any risks of disruption in the midst of an incident and of losing data permanently.

In our recent State of Email Security report, we found that six out of ten organisations have been victims of ransomware in 2020. As a result, afflicted organisations have lost an average of six days to downtime. One third of organisations even admitted that they failed to get their data back, despite paying the ransom. In the healthcare industry, this could mean losing valuable patient records or data related to new treatments – two areas the sector cannot afford to be cavalier about.

Conduct due diligence across the organisation’s supply chain – Healthcare organisations should review their ways of working with partners, providers and regulatory institutions they work with in order to prevent any weak link in their cybersecurity chain. Without this due diligence, organisations leave themselves exposed to the risks of third party-led incidents. 

Roll out mandatory cybersecurity awareness training - Healthcare organisations shouldn’t neglect the training and awareness of their entire staff – including frontline workers who may not access the corporate network on a regular basis. According to our State of Email Security report, only one fifth of organisations carry out ongoing cyber awareness training.

This suggests it is not widely considered as a fundamental part of most organisations cyber-resilience strategy, despite the fact many employees rely on their organisation’s corporate network to work. By providing systematic training, healthcare organisations can help workers at all levels better understand the current cyberthreats they face, how they could impact their organisation, the role they play in defending the networks, and develop consistent, good cybersecurity hygiene habits to limit the risks of incidents. 
Consider a degree of separation – Information and Operational Technology (IT and OT) networks should be separated.

Although mutually supported and reliance on each other, employees shouldn’t be accessing one via the other. This should be complemented by a considered tried and tested contingency and resiliency plan that allows crucial services to function unabated should there be a compromise. Similarly, admin terminals should not have internet access to afford a degree of hardening and protection for these critical accounts.

As the sector becomes a common target for fraudulent and malicious activity, putting cybersecurity at the core of the organisation’s operations is critical. It will help limit the risks of disruption due to cyberattacks, reduce time spent by the cybersecurity team to resolve easily avoidable errors, and ensure that institutions can deliver patient care, safe in the knowledge that their networks are safe.  

Fighting future threats

With technology continuing to change the face of healthcare, the surface area and vectors available for attacks by malicious actors is constantly increasing. With the introduction of apps, networked monitoring devices, and a need for communication, the attack vector is ever expanding, a trend that needs to be monitored and secured against.

To prevent any damage to patients, staff, or the organisation they are responsible for, healthcare leaders must put security front and centre of their digital transformation strategy. Only then can the sector harness the full benefits of technology. Doing this should include implementing cybersecurity awareness training to challenge misconceptions around security, encourage conversation, and to ensure employee knowledge of the security basics and threats faced. 

This ultimately allows healthcare organisations to do what they do best: provide the highest standard of patient care, safe in the knowledge that their operations, patients, and data are safe.

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