HIE as a Critical Backup Tool for Health Care Organizations
It's every health care organization's nightmare: a cyber-attack that threatens the security of patient data. Unfortunately, this nightmare is becoming a reality as was seen last month with the WannaCry ransomware attack and a new malware attack just this week.
When Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) in Buffalo, New York suffered a malware attack in April it shut down a majority of the hospital's IT systems, including the electronic health record system (EHR), as a precaution. Fortunately, ECMC was a participant with HEALTHeLINK, the regional health information exchange (HIE) in Western New York. Almost immediately after the attack hospital staff were able to securely access patient data through the HIE
(read more on this case at HealthData Management's website)
EHR System Failure & Natural Disasters
Two other examples of an HIE used as an emergency backup to an EHR were featured in the
March 2017 issue of Connections
Door County Medical Center
turned to WISHIN for access to patient data in the hours after its EHR failed to restore during routine maintenance. Several HIEs in other states have stepped up to provide critical patient information after natural disasters compromised paper records, local servers or entire hospital buildings, requiring patients to seek care outside of their typical system.
While the details of the cases vary, it's clear that HIEs are positioned to function as comprehensive backup tools in crisis situations. If your organization is contributing data to WISHIN, it will be there for your staff to access in an emergency.
Not sure if your organization is prepared to use WISHIN as an emergency backup or want to learn more about WISHIN's services? Contact us at (608) 274-1820.