May 17, 2020

Hospital Management Placing Premium on Hiring the Best

Management
Hospital Leadership
United States Healthcare
H
Admin
3 min
Whether it's a heart surgeon or a registered nurse, the main attribute hospital management teams look for in potential staff members is expertise.
Hospital management teams all across the country are setting their sights on the most educated, well-trained candidates available.

As the world of heal...

Hospital management teams all across the country are setting their sights on the most educated, well-trained candidates available.

As the world of healthcare technology continues to expand and improve, the demand for top-notch employees continues to expand right along with it.

When it comes to a knowledgeable hospital staff, here are a number of qualities hospital management teams are looking for in new employees for 2014 and beyond:

Expertise

Whether it's a heart surgeon or a registered nurse, the main attribute hospital management teams look for in potential staff members is expertise.

What kind of education does the candidate have? What kind of medical training has the candidate obtained? These are just a few of the questions that management should ask during the hiring process.

For those on the hospital management team, finding the right qualified candidate with the proper training usually comes at a cost.

But, expertise is something that has no price tag, especially in the medical environment. Besides, hiring an underprepared staffer could end up costing the hospital more in the long run.

Real World Experience

Management teams never know how a new doctor or nurse is going to handle real word medical situations, which is why tangible experience is another important quality in a candidate.

Whether it's a doctor who has a few years of resident experience or a nurse with walk-in clinic experience, actual know-how goes a long way.

Medical résumés are important in terms of experience, but it's wise for hospital management teams to ask about actual scenarios the candidate has experienced first-hand. This helps set expectations for both the management team and the candidate.

Composure Under Pressure

Calmness and composure during highly stressful situations is an attribute that all workers in the medical industry should have.

Surgeons, anesthesiologists, and hospital psychiatrists are the specialty of hospital hirings as the article "The 3 highest paying medical jobs in America" shows, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're the only stressful jobs in the industry.

Although it's hard to know whether a potential candidate has composure under pressure without seeing it first-hand, management teams should trust that the candidate's training and prior experiences have properly prepared the potential employee for the job at hand.

Dependability

A dependable hospital staffer is of the utmost importance, especially considering a large number of hospitals in the U.S. are short-staffed to begin with.

Hospital management teams can use the candidate's references to get a better idea of what kind of work ethic he or she has, but the inquiry shouldn't stop there.

In addition, management teams and interviewers can also try to get a better picture of the candidate's life outside of the hospital.

Does the candidate have a young, growing family? Does the candidate have a second job moonlighting at a local clinic? Questions like these are helpful in determining the candidate's dependability.

Bedside Manner

Alongside all the qualities above, a potential hospital employee should have a thoughtful, respectful bedside manner.

Whether it's an MRI technician or a surgeon, bedside manner reaches far beyond doctor-patient relationships. Although bedside manner isn't something the hospital management team will pick up on initially, it is an important factor to look for as time goes on.

With all the required qualities, abilities and skills mentioned above, it's no wonder hospital management teams are placing a premium on the staffers they hire.

About the author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including job hunting and the medical industry.

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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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