May 17, 2020

Is Your Hospital Facing Today's Top Female Medical Concerns?

Admin
4 min
Is Your Hospital Facing Today’s Top Female Medical Concerns.jpg
Is Your Hospital Facing Todays Top Female Medical Concerns? With the wealth of information available online, women are openly talking about things thei...

Is Your Hospital Facing Today’s Top Female Medical Concerns?

With the wealth of information available online, women are openly talking about things their grandparents might have shied away from sharing even with their family doctor.

But with the hectic pace of life these days and the stresses we put our bodies under, there are still significant risks to women's health. What are the biggest health threats to women today? And what is the medical community doing to help?

Heart Disease

Heart disease is still one of the leading killers of both men and women in the U.S..

As well as premature death, heart disease can cause disability, impeding a woman's ability to get around and enjoy the activities of everyday life. 

The risk of heart disease increases with age, family history of the disease, and other conditions such as diabetes or obesity.

For women, embracing a healthier lifestyle is a key part of heart disease prevention. For the medical community, educating females through newsletters, magazines, and video is a great way to spread the word on how to lessen the chances of becoming a victim in the first place.

What you can advise women to do? -  Eat a healthy diet, take moderate exercise, give up habits like smoking and drinking, take care of other existing conditions, and take time out to reduce stress levels.

Cancer

Cancer is a major health risk for women today.

Breast cancer is the most common form of the disease found in women, while lung cancer is also a serious concern. The best chance of successful cancer treatment is to catch it early, so educating yourself about the disease and its signs is one of the best things you can do for your health.

The risk of cancer can be increased by family or personal history of the disease, increasing age, obesity, and not having children.

For hospitals, offering the latest in prevention and surgical techniques to attack cancerous cells and tumors can go a long way in helping women fight cancer. Hospitals should continue working to educate women on prevention, along with the emotional aspects of dealing with the illness once diagnosed.

What you can do: Keep your weight in  the healthy range, quit smoking, perform regular self examinations and take advantage of any screening offered by your doctor.

Stroke

Strokes are a health concern for all women today.

Luckily, there is a lot that can be done towards stroke prevention, and there are treatments available. Adopting a healthier lifestyle now will help to lower your stroke risk in the future.

Conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and raised cholesterol can all contribute to the risk of having a stroke. Lifestyle choices such as binge drinking, recreational drug use, and unhealthy food can also raise your risk.

It is important for hospitals to convey the message that strokes can happen to females of all ages. turning away the myth that this is something only older women might have to deal with.

What you can do: Control and treat any other conditions, stay active, avoid binge drinking or recreational drug use, and eat a healthy diet low in saturated fats.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is more prevalent than ever, making it a major health concern for women.

Type 2 diabetes affects the way your body metabolizes sugar. It can lead to a range of complications, including eye problems, nerve problems, kidney damage and heart disease.

Being overweight or inactive has been linked to developing type 2 diabetes. Elevated blood sugar levels, even if not high enough to be classed as diabetes, can lead progress to type 2 diabetes.

For those in the medical community, keeping tabs on your female patients is important, especially for those who have issues with weight. It is important for doctors to emphasize the benefits of eating right and exercising each time they see a patient during yearly exams.

What you can do: Eat healthily, stay active, and be sure to lose any excess weight.

What Help Is Available?

With so many health concerns for women today, knowing where to go for help can be rather daunting. Luckily, there are education and screening programs in most areas.

Many states now run women's health clinics at little or no cost. Doctors are able to advise women on services in their area such as cancer screening, blood pressure checks, blood sugar checks, or overall health screening to make sure they are in good shape.

More emphasis is placed on prevention rather than cure these days, with plenty of information available to help women make good, healthy lifestyle choices that will help to reduce their risk of becoming ill.

Hearing about killer diseases and risk factors can be frightening.

By working together as a team, female patients and the medical community can lessen the odds that diseases will strike.

 

 

About the Author

Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on subjects as diverse as health, positive thinking, and  business reputation management.

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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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