May 17, 2020

Top 10 Best Hospitals in the US

healthcare services
healthcare services
Catherine Sturman
4 min
With an ever-increased focus on the US health system, it is imperative to remind ourselves that whilst there is uncertainty, medical professionals conti...

With an ever-increased focus on the US health system, it is imperative to remind ourselves that whilst there is uncertainty, medical professionals continue to provide lifesaving care and medical support to local communities. Delivering exceptional, high-quality care, and utilising technologies which have created increased opportunities, we take a look at the top 10 US hospitals  out of over 4,000 which have been placed on the Honour Roll.

All hospitals on the Honour Roll have received points within 16 specialties across the board.

10. Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian, Philadelphia

Becoming one of the first medical institutions to acquire a coronary care unit within the US, The Penn Presbyterian Medical Center incorporates world-class technologies within its operations, such as robotic-assisted surgery throughout its procedures.

Receiving 244 points, the hospital is ranked nationally in over 10 adult specialities in areas such as pulmonary and ophthalmology, and performed over 13,000 inpatient surgeries in 2017 alone.

Additionally, renowned as an exceptional educational facility, the hospital continues to educate medical professionals to deliver the best quality care to its patients, and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

9. Stanford Health Care-Stanford Hospital, California

Edging ahead at 251 points is Stanford Health Care in California continues to provide exceptional education and training for medical students. To this effect, the hospital has become one of 34 testing sites for its neuro-spinal scaffold research, which will provide ongoing patients with spinal cord trauma.

8. New York-Presbyterian Hospital

Renowned as one of the country’s leading stroke specialists, New York-Presbyterian Hospital received 267 points, and works to deliver one of the most integrated, patient centric services within New York.

With four main divisions, the hospital has successfully partnered with Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in order to further its position as a leader within clinical research and development and the education of medical professionals.

7. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, LA

With specialities located on each floor of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is housed on four acres and has embedded world-class integrated systems and technologies throughout its operations. Scoring 292 points, the hospital adopts private rooms for all patients, and is national leader within organ transplantation.

Recently, the hospital has partnered with AccentCare to improve patient outcomes and experiences within its post-acute care services

6. University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers

With an extensive history, the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers house a number of academic, research and development facilities, in a  bid to ensure exceptional patient care.

Scoring 294 points, it is also home to the national’s largest biomedical research community and has been ranked in 15 adult and 10 paediatric specialities within the Honour Roll.

5. UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco

Responsible for a number of biomedical research trials and its focus on providing medical educational facilities for dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy. UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco has received 303 points.

A leader in cancer and women’s health, the hospital has recently achieved the award for #1 Hospital in California.

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4. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

Situated in Boston, the Massachusetts General Hospital scored 358 points and has been ranked nationally in 16 adult specialties, and three paediatric specialities.

The hospital has also recently been responsible for developing an antibiotic-releasing polymer which may simplify the treatment of prosthetic joint infection, according to a recent press release.

3. John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore

Ranked in 15 adult and 10 paediatric specialities, John Hopkins Hospital has grabbed the third spot. Similarly to the Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian, Philadelphia, it is accredited by CARF, and has become a key healthcare leader in the US.

Responsible for six academic and community hospitals, John Hopkins provides exceptional research and development facilities, and educational programs for students in order to improve patient health.

2. Cleveland Clinic

Becoming the second largest employer in Ohio, teaching Hospital Cleveland Clinic has become the second-best hospital in the US, ranked in 14 adult specialties and nine paediatric specialties.

Scoring 365 points, the Clinic’s focus on its research capabilities have seen it recently identify two biomarkers in patients who have suffered long-term brain damage, according to a recent blog, and are collaborating with Boston Children’s Hospital to offer adult and paediatric heart services to employers.

Additionally, Cleveland Clinic have also launched a new Center for Men's Health to provide speciality services.

1. Mayo Clinic, Minnesota

Retaining its position as the most renowned medical facility in America, the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota scored 415 points, and has been ranked in 15 adult and nine paediatric specialties. The Clinic contributes $28 billion to the US economy and is responsible for 167,000 jobs, according to News Wise.

Its research has led to a number of breakthroughs:

  • Discovering a human gut microbe which could help advance research into multiple sclerosis
  • Partnered with AliveCor in order to develop screening tools for Long QT.
  • Partnered with AI company Qrativ to support the development of new drugs

The Clinic is also at the forefront of the digital healthcare revolution, and has recently implemented EPIC software into its operations.

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Jun 13, 2021

How healthcare can safeguard itself against cyberthreats

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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