The Joint Commission yesterday released an alert reviewing how health care organizations can prepare to deliver safe patient care in the event of a cyberattack, calling the potential to experience a cyberattack that adversely affects operations not an “if” but a “when” question. John Riggi, AHA’s national director for cybersecurity and risk, provided expert advice to TJC as it developed the resource.
“The AHA was very pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with our colleagues at the TJC to produce this alert, which provides guidance on best practices and lessons learned from the many ransomware attacks suffered by hospitals and health system,” Riggi said. “These attacks often impact mission-critical medical and information technology, resulting in the disruption of care delivery and possible risk to patient safety. The alert highlights the need for the interdisciplinary development of downtime procedures for all network and internet-connected technology on which care delivery depends. In the face of these ongoing ransomware attacks, we must prepare robust downtime procedures to maintain not just ‘business continuity’ — but ‘clinical continuity’ — for up to four weeks.”