May 17, 2020

Hospitals Blazing Trails, The Best in Children's Care

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3 min
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Written by John McMalcolm Hospitals Blazing Trails, The Best in Children's Care As many doctors can tell you, children respond differently to medic...

Written by John McMalcolm

Hospitals Blazing Trails, The Best in Children's Care

As many doctors can tell you, children respond differently to medical treatment because their bodies are very different from those of adults.

Routine medical procedures that work for adults may be detrimental to children. As parents look for the best facilities available when seeking care for their children, is your hospital making the grade? Are you providing all the necessary services that youngsters and their loved ones need at any given moment?

With that in mind, what are some of the facilities scoring high marks nationwide when it comes to caring for children?

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia ranks first on U.S. News and Parents.com's lists of best children's hospitals in 2013. It is one of the largest hospitals of its kind in the world, offering outpatient and emergency care to over 1.16 million children and admitting over 28,000 children every year.

With more than $30 million invested in research annually, this hospital conducted many studies and developed fetal surgery for treating spina bifida before birth. Additionally, it has achieved the Magnet Nursing Status, which is the highest award attainable for nursing excellence.

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia features a multimedia center called the Seacrest Studios, where patients can listen to songs and watch performances, and its emergency room is equipped with interactive displays and a library.

Boston Children's Hospital

Boston Children's Hospital was named the best pediatric hospital by the U.S. News in 2012.

It offers a complete range of medical services for patients aged 0 to 21, and it is ranked number one in cardiology, orthopedics, neurology, nephrology and urology. It was responsible for inventing a heart valve that can grow with a child, and it succeeded in treating a child with bubble-boy disease. The Boston Children's Hospital was also awarded the Magnus Status for its outstanding nursing care.

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center has the busiest emergency department and undertakes the second highest number of surgeries among pediatric hospitals in the U.S.

This hospital also invests heavily in research, and it is presently leading a major study on a medication that can potentially prevent children from experiencing migraines. It is planning to start a pet visitation center soon to enable its patients to play with their pets from home.

Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora

For over a decade, the Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora has been regarded as one of the top 10 pediatric hospitals in the country by the U.S. News.

It also achieved top 10 rankings in the areas of pulmonology, gastroenterology, diabetes and endocrinology, orthopedics and cancer.

This hospital is home to one of the world's largest children heart tissue banks, and it has private NICU rooms. Presently, the Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora is doing research on equine therapy to help autistic children.

What Makes These Hospitals Stand Out?

The top pediatric hospitals in the U.S. are able to gain a competitive advantage over other hospitals because they have a higher level of commitment to providing quality medical services for children.

Their fervent dedication to give patients the best possible healthcare experience enables them to build a solid reputation and attract the finest physicians, surgeons, nurses and technicians.

They also invest heavily in amenities, equipment and technology to provide the most effective and efficient healthcare, as well as research to discover new treatment methods.

The future of the country depends on the wellness of its children.

Pediatric hospitals are playing an important role in local communities by ensuring the health and happiness of children.

About the author

John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from healthcare to reviews of children products such as toys and strollers.

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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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