Let the Walgreens Incident Be a Reminder: Cybersecurity Always Has to Be Top of Mind

Let the Walgreens Incident Be a Reminder: Cybersecurity Always Has to Be Top of Mind

Walgreens inadvertently left the data of millions of its customers unprotected thanks to an apparent oversight in the creation of an app used for COVID-19 test registrations. As reported by Recode, information—including names, contact information, and even the results of COVID-19 tests—on anyone who was tested at a Walgreens location within the last year could have been exposed on the open web. While this breach was not the work of hackers or other cybercriminals, the …

Read More
Not Sure You’re Up to Date on Cybersecurity? You’d Better Figure It Out Before Hackers Do

Not Sure You’re Up to Date on Cybersecurity? You’d Better Figure It Out Before Hackers Do

It’s debatable whether it’s safer to keep all your sensitive data in one large system (thereby putting it all at risk in the event of a single breach) vs maintaining a cluster of smaller systems (in which case the risk is multiplied, but the loss of data might not be so great). The answer could depend on the size and scope of your operation, so in many cases it makes sense to engage a cybersecurity …

Read More
Recent Cyberattacks Should Be a Reminder: Prevention Is Far Less Costly Than Regret

Recent Cyberattacks Should Be a Reminder: Prevention Is Far Less Costly Than Regret

When Scripps Health was hit by a cyberattack a few weeks ago, it sent workers scrambling to ascertain the security of sensitive patient health information, company files, and other protected or proprietary data. It’s also likely that the event shook the company’s sense of its own security, probably leaving some with a PTSD-like sense of dread. Needless to say, it also disrupted care at the hospitals and urgent care centers affected. While Scripps has been …

Read More
Recent Hacks and Charges of Censorship Should Be a Wake-Up Call to Check Your Online Security

Recent Hacks and Charges of Censorship Should Be a Wake-Up Call to Check Your Online Security

As 2020 was winding down, we all became aware of a widespread and highly alarming hack that has since been attributed to operators in Russia. While it does not appear to have been targeted at healthcare organizations, the fact that it happened at all should be a reminder of the potential risks you face with proprietary information, access to financial accounts, and HIPAA-protected patient information. Then there’s the whole issue of online censorship that has …

Read More
Can Artificial Intelligence Provide Real Value in Triaging Urgent Care Patients?

Can Artificial Intelligence Provide Real Value in Triaging Urgent Care Patients?

A crowded waiting room can stress out both front-desk staff and clinicians. And barring obviously emergent presentations, human error can occur when deciding which patient needs attention first. An article just published in Fortune magazine introduces a new machine learning-powered triage system that was created to streamline and assure appropriate triage—with a focus on urgent care. The new system, developed by a company called Epic, analyzes a patient’s electronic medical records and their current vital …

Read More

Free Triage/Texting App Assists in Managing COVID-19 Patient Flow

Concern for both patients and staff has the country’s urgent care professionals leaning heavily on their industry partners for support in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the growing of number of people requesting COVID-19 testing and care, Experity has released a  COVID-19 Check-in Triage, and Texting Application to help clinics manage patient check-in from home or the clinic parking lot, facilitate communication with patients, and assess risk before a patient enters an urgent …

Read More
Data Breaches Are on the Rise—Again. Are You Protected?

Data Breaches Are on the Rise—Again. Are You Protected?

Last year—as has been the case for the past several years—data breaches rose across multiple industries in the United States, according to new data from the Identity Theft Resource Center. That 17% increase may be especially hazardous in urgent care and other healthcare settings, wherein the risk is exposure of not only financial information but also sensitive, confidential medical data. Hacking accounts for the greatest number of breaches, following by “unauthorized access.” As we’ve told …

Read More
Data Breaches Cost $2.2 Million Per Event; Prevention Could Save Your Business

Data Breaches Cost $2.2 Million Per Event; Prevention Could Save Your Business

Data breaches cost the United States healthcare system $6.2 billion in 2016, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services. Breaking the numbers down to the facility level over the entire survey period (2016–2018), HHS notes the average cost to each healthcare organization that experienced a breach was $2.2 million. If you haven’t been hit with a breach, consider yourself extremely lucky; roughly 80% of physicians have. HHS recommends taking …

Read More
Warning: Fallout from the Latest Healthcare Data Breaches Is Still Unfolding

Warning: Fallout from the Latest Healthcare Data Breaches Is Still Unfolding

A pair of data breaches at two lab test companies exposed information relating to more than 19 million consumers this week. First, Quest Diagnostics admitted it experienced a breach that exposed 12 million patients’ information; a day later, LabCorp revealed a breach affecting 7.7 million people. In the latter case, the company said the breach occurred at a third-party collections firm called American Medical Collections Agency (AMCA) between August 1, 2018 and March 30, 2019. …

Read More
Are Medication Dispensaries Next in the Evolution of Remote Healthcare?

Are Medication Dispensaries Next in the Evolution of Remote Healthcare?

Even before telemedicine has reached full-on acceptance in urgent care, the next step in the evolution of remote healthcare “visits” may be in progress as we speak. A company called OnMed is launching self-contained, unstaffed “pods” that will facilitate remote access to a healthcare provider and allow a patient to receive medication without taking another step. Each unit is designed with capabilities for measuring height and weight; determining body temperature; and measuring blood pressure, respiration, …

Read More