From “Fears of Hackers Targeting U.S. Hospitals, Medical Devices for Cyber Attacks”
ABC News (06/29/17) Harris, Dan; Kapetaneas, John; Zepeda, Robert; et al. Posted by ASIS.
Hospital computers and medical devices are potentially vulnerable to hacking, according to cybersecurity experts. Among the U.S. computers affected in the Petya ransomware attack that quickly spread to countries around the world Tuesday were hospital computers. Last month, the WannaCry ransomware shut down 65 hospitals in the United Kingdom, affecting not just computers but storage refrigerators and MRI machines, and last January, Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital in Los Angeles paid out $17,000 after hackers took control of its computers. To combat this problem, doctors, security experts and government employees recently converged at the University of Arizona Medical School in Phoenix to witness the first-ever simulated hack of a hospital. “Anything that is plugged in,” whether it has a Wi-Fi connection or not, can be vulnerable to hacking, and lots of medical devices, such as pacemakers and ventilators, are connected to the Internet for the benefit of the patients, says Dr. Jeff Tully, a pediatrician and self-proclaimed hacker who organized the event and staged the cyberattack with Dr. Christian Dameff, an emergency medicine physician. Cybersecurity expert Josh Corman, who recently served on a congressional task force for the U.S. Health and Human Services Department to investigate health care systems, said these systems are easy to hack because often the computers are running “on very old, unsupported systems.” Also, hospitals need to invest more in qualified cybersecurity personnel. Corman’s team conducted a yearlong investigation and found that at least 85 percent of hospitals do not have a single qualified [cyber]security person on staff.
From “Violence Against Health Care Workers Captures Regulators’ Attention”
Business Insurance (04/26/17) Gonzalez, Gloria. Reprinted by ASIS.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is “paying close attention” to workplace violence against health care workers, according to Safety National Casualty Corp.’s Mark Walls. In 2015, there were more than 11,000 violent incidents against employees in the health care and social assistance sector — a number that is nearly as high as all other industries combined. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration Standards Board unanimously adopted the first workplace violence prevention standard for health care workers in the United States last year, with the standard taking effect April 1. General acute care hospitals, acute psychiatric hospitals, and special hospitals must report incidents of workplace violence at their facilities to Cal/OSHA. The safety regulators are then required under Senate Bill 1299 to post a report each January on the total number of incidents reported, the names of the hospital facilities, the outcomes of inspections or investigations, the citations levied against a hospital based on a violent incident, and recommendations for the prevention of violent incidents in hospitals.
From “Workplace Violence: Prevention and Response”
CSO Online (03/08/17) Wackrow, Jonathan. Reprinted by ASIS.
Almost 2 million Americans are the victims of workplace violence every year. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that corporations spend over $36 billion each year on remediating the after effects of such incidents. Studies have shown that training and implemented policies to prevent threats and violence significantly decrease the incident rate. The best risk management strategy includes a combination of sound protocols, access to expert professional resources, and quality insurance coverage. The most effective prevention methods identify and address potential problems early. Workplace violence generally breaks down into four broad categories: violence by unknown individual with criminal intent, violence by known customer, violence by employee, and violence by associated party. Organizations should also implement a hiring process that emphasizes pre-employment screening and background checks. Understanding the risk factors can also prove extremely beneficial. In the event of an incident, crisis response plans are most effective when tailored to the needs and resources of a particular employer and workforce.
From “Hospital Shooting: Florida Facilities Beef up Security With Armed Guards, Random Bag Checks”
Fierce Healthcare (07/25/2016) Minemyer, Paige. Reposted by ASIS
Central Florida hospitals are bolstering their security in the wake of a deadly shooting at an area facility. The shooting at Parrish Medical Center earlier this month has sparked security concerns in the area. Parrish itself has reportedly increased security in its emergency department and main entrance, instituting random bag checks, and restricting access at certain locations within the facility. Health First, a system that owns four other hospitals in the same county, is also implementing those measures, as well as employing armed guards, which has some worried patient safety will be endangered. Orlando Health, the hospital that treated the majority of patients injured in the Pulse nightclub shooting, is now screening people entering its hospitals with wand and bag checks. Hospitals across the country are increasingly planning for active shooter situations in their facilities, or to handle a sudden overflow of patients should a shooting occur elsewhere.
From “Health Care Employees Bear Brunt of Workplace Assaults, Research Finds”
ABC News (04/27/16) Winter, Gretchen. Published by ASIS.
A new article in the New England Journal of Medicine has revealed just how often health care workers face both verbal and physical violence in the workplace. The most common form of workplace violence in the health care setting is perpetrated by patients or visitors against health care providers, accounting for 75 percent of aggravated assaults, and 93 percent of all assaults against employees in hospitals, according to the findings. Lead author James Phillips, an attending physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Instructor at Harvard Medical School, reviewed prior studies of attacks and found that health care workers are almost four times as likely to miss work because of violence than from other injuries. One study revealed that 4.5 percent of violent health care incidents occur against emergency medical services providers. Ninety percent of the time, patients were the attackers in these incidents. The highest rates of abuse in hospitals are against nurses and nursing aides. One study found that 39 percent of nurses involved reported verbal assaults annually, while 13 percent reported physical abuse. About one in four emergency medicine doctors reported being physically assaulted in the prior year, and nearly four out of five reported some kind of workplace violence. One in 10 physicians experienced workplace violence each year between 1993 and 2001. Studies found that psychiatrists are at a particularly high risk, with 40 percent reporting physical attacks. Phillips’ article states that violence against health care workers goes grossly underreported. One survey used in the review found episodes of violence were only reported by 30 percent of nurses and 26 percent of doctors.
From “Do Workers Have a False Sense of Security? New CareerBuilder Survey Looks at Security in the Workplace”
PR Newswire (04/14/16) Published by ASIS
Ninety-three percent of workers say their office is a secure place to work, according to a survey of more than 3,000 respondents by CareerBuilder. However, their sense of security may be misguided. Thirty-seven percent of workers say they have a security guard at their workplace, and 22% are unsure of how they would protect themselves in the case of an emergency in their office that poses a physical threat. Seventeen percent of workers say their workplaces are not well-protected in case of a fire, flood, or other disaster, and 22% say they do not believe their companies have emergency plans in place should such events occur. Thirty-one percent of workers say their workplace is not well-protected from a physical threat from another person, and 31% say their workplaces are not well-protected from digital hacking threats.