Who are the Top 10 global hospitals and why?
Written by Shukti Sarma
1. Johns Hopkins Hospital, USA: Consistently ranking as the top hospital overall in almost all surveys and year-end lists, is the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, USA. It is best known for being the birthplace of genetic engineering, John Hopkins is also the place where the Nobel Prize winning discovery of restriction enzymes happened. Apart from that, it is also where the first male-male sex reassignment surgery happened. John Hopkins alumnae can boast of identifying three types of polio virus, discovering brain’s natural opiates and performing the first blue baby operation in the world.
John Hopkins is easily the most well known centre for medical advances, patient care and teaching. Some of the world’s most well known doctors have been or are associated with this hospital. Most of its specialties rank among the top five globally; such as gynecology, neurology and neurosurgery, urology, and rheumatology.
2. Asklepios Klinik Barmbek, Germany: The Asklepios Group is the biggest private operator of hospitals in the entire European continent, but the Hamburg centre is regarded as the crown jewel. This is a general hospital, but it ranks among the best in matters of cutting edge innovation and medical technology. Companies release drugs and equipment in the Klinik before they are made available to the rest of the world, and the centre boasts of excellent nursing and rehabilitation facilities. The Asklepios Klinik boasts of the world’s best known medical laboratory, and is well known for heart surgery and oncology specialties.
3.University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, USA: Being one of the original three comprehensive cancer centers in the United States established by the National Cancer Act of 1971, it remains the best and most well known centre for cancer care. The MD Anderson Cancer Centre is also affiliated with two prestigious medical schools, the University of Texas Medical School at Houston and the Baylor Medical College. It provides fellowship, internship and residency opportunities to Ph.D.s and medical professionals, and its courses on immunology,, virology and gene therapy attract the best students and teachers from all across the world.
4. Brigham and Women's Hospital, USA: Located in Boston, it is one of the largest healthcare provider in Massachusetts, and is the Harvard Medical School's second largest teaching affiliate. The center brings together a cancer institute and a hospital, creating 13 specialized disease centers. It also excels in neuroscience, arthritis and orthopedics. It is well known for its high quality research facility, and for over a decade, its Biomedical Research Institute has been one of the two hospitals receiving the most National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding among independent hospitals in the United States. Brigham and Women's Hospital also conducts popular demographic surveys.
5. Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, UK: The Great Ormond Street Hospital is the world’s first hospital that was established solely for the treatment of children. It remains one of the best in its field, but it is more well known for receiving the copyright to the children’s classic Peter Pan- all the royalties of which being channeled in research and treatment. Great Ormond Street Hospital is closely associated with University College London and is the largest centre for research and postgraduate teaching in children’s health in Europe. It is also the largest centre for children's heart or brain surgery, or children with cancer, in the UK.
6. Wooridul Spine Hospital, Seoul, South Korea: It is counted among theleading spine hospitals in the world. It is famous for developing a minimally invasive surgical treatment for those with problems in the lumbar, cervical and thoracic areas, and often treats patients with injection therapy. The advanced spinal surgical technique developed by Wooridul Hospital is bloodless and minimally invasive to save normal disc tissue. It is also well known for medical tourism, and is fast becoming the go-to name for treatment of joints.
7. Shouldice Hospital, Canada: The world’s most famous name in treatment of abdominal hernia, it is named after Dr. Edward Earle Shouldice, who developed a uses a natural tissue, tension free, technique for treatment during the second World War. Also known for its green initiatives, the Shouldice Hospital lists famous personalities as Joe Clark, Jack Layton and Ralph Nader as its patients. Shouldice Hospital is was famously made the subject of a case study by the Harvard Business School- and the same forms the part of the curricula of numerous schools worldwide.
8. Bumrungrad International Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand: It is probably best known for medical tourism, and is the biggest private hospital in Southeast Asia. It treats over a million patients every year, and has its own travel agency for extending visas and providing translators for foreigners. Internationally accredited, the BumrungradInternational Hospitalboasts of world class luxurious facilities. It accomplished the Thailand Quality Class Recognition Award in 2008, and has won a number of accolades internationally. The hospital represents virtually of all the specialties and subspecialties of medicine, and is regarded as a "one-stop" centre for medical services internationally.
9. Anadolu Medical Center, Turkey: The Anadolu Hospitalis a leading institution of oncology through its Bone Marrow Transplant Center. Opened only in 2005, it has emerged as one of the most sought after names in providing treatment for cancer. The hospital is affiliated with the Johns Hopkins Hospital in the USA through Johns Hopkins Medicine International. IMRT and Cyberknife are two of the latest technologies used in cancer treatment developed at the Anadolu Medical Center. The hospital also provides multidisciplinary care, free check ups, patient education, first aid courses, and courses related to preventive medicine.
10. Gleneagles Hospital, Singapore: The flagship hospital of the Parkway Hospital Group, the GleneaglesHospital is a multi-disciplinary and state-of-the-art facilities; representing numerous specialties and sub specialties. It is well known for its doctors’ expertise, quality care, user-friendly services and modern technology, and specialties such as cardiology, oncology, obstetrics, gynecology and orthopedicsare regarded as among the best in the world. The Gleneagles Hospital is best known for a 2005 operation, in which a medical team operated for 10 hours to separate two conjoined twins from Indonesia who were attached at the hip.
How healthcare can safeguard itself against cyberthreats
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.
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.
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.