The Healthcare Supply Chain Association’s cybersecurity plan

By Helen Adams
A series of cyber security measures have been released by The Healthcare Supply Chain Association to protect patient details

The Healthcare Supply Chain Association (HSCA), has released key cybersecurity considerations, to protect patient privacy, for:

  • Medical device manufacturers
  • Healthcare delivery organisations
  • Service providers 

The Healthcare Supply Chain Association (HSCA) represents leading healthcare group purchasing organisations (GPOs), partners to hospitals, nursing homes, nursing home pharmacies, clinics and home healthcare providers across the USA. 

 

Cybersecurity suggestions to protect the privacy of healthcare patients 

These are some of the HSCA’s suggested cybersecurity measures:

  • Designating an information technology security officer and maintaining anti-virus software
  • Providing cyber training and assessments for staff
  • Only purchasing insurance policies which cover cybersecurity risks
  • Testing manufacturer claims
  • Including encrypting personal authentication data 
  • Certifying that suppliers of network-accessible medical devices, software and services are compliant with FDA guidance documents

 

Guarding patients, preventing cyber attacks

The widespread adoption of telemedicine and the rapid shift to virtual operations during the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the important role that information technology, software and medical devices can play in improving patient care. 

“As evidenced by recent cyberattacks, medical devices and services are vulnerable to cybersecurity threats that could jeopardise patient health, safety, and privacy”, said HSCA President and CEO Todd Ebert, R. Ph. “GPOs leverage their unique line of sight over the supply chain to help providers harness the benefits of technology to care for their patients while guarding against cyber threats.”

“The increased use of connected medical devices and software as a service (SaaS), the adoption of wireless technology, and overall increased medical device and service connectivity to the internet significantly increase the risks of cybersecurity incidents”, said HSCA Committee for Healthcare eStandards (ChES) Executive Director Curt Miller. “HSCA and its Committee for Healthcare eStandards are committed to accelerating the adoption, implementation, and active usage of industry-wide data standards for improving efficiencies and safety throughout the healthcare supply chain, and HSCA’s key considerations are part of that continued commitment.”

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