Eimer and many healthcare IT leaders across the country showed great resilience during the pandemic. The steps taken should be examined and built upon so that health systems can be proactive should more crises arrive, whether in the form of a pandemic surge, a cyberattack or a catastrophic weather event.
As healthcare organizations look to improve their IT resilience, they should invest in critical support for their team members, conduct regular tabletop exercises and penetration testing, and develop key partnerships to complement their strategies.
Foster Your Healthcare IT Team
A resilient healthcare organization has teams working together to support each other and take action in tough times. Leaders who can delegate, recognize talent among team members and foster trust across departments will help improve resilience throughout the organization.
“Don’t underestimate the impact you have on people and how they respond to the needs of the team and the organization,” Paul J. Williams, associate vice president of information services infrastructure technology at Penn Medicine, writes in a column for Healthcare IT News.
Strong leadership is not about being the only person at the helm, exhausted and alone. Effective leaders know how to share responsibilities with their team members to create a collaborative ecosystem for action.
Always Stay Prepared in Case of Emergencies
Tabletop exercises and penetration testing are active drills that healthcare organizations can use to stay nimble in the face of cyberthreats. Tabletop exercises bring clarity to the responsibilities and roles needed in an emergency setting. Penetration testing assesses and evaluates how effective an organization’s security controls are.
“Tabletop exercises should result in action plans for continuous improvement of the emergency plan. A written evaluation of an exercise provides a guideline for what went well and what areas need attention, and should categorize outcomes by people, processes or technology,” CDW Healthcare Security Strategist Mike Gregory writes in a HealthTech blog.
Pen testing will help uncover any vulnerabilities or misapplied fixes before malicious actors do.
“It is critical for healthcare organizations to regularly perform both tabletop exercises and pen testing to enhance their security posture so they are more familiar with how they will respond and recover from an emergency within an established time frame,” Gregory writes.