We live in a world where industries have to find ways of improving and updating, there is no time to stop. Constant improvement in technology is making it crucial to stay informed about new systems.
This is most beneficial if you apply it in your healthcare practice, especially in these times where millions are vulnerable to diseases like COVID-19 and heart attacks, etc. Having older systems makes the healthcare processes slow, often at the expense of your patient’s health.
According to reports by Palo Alto Networks, 83% of devices in US healthcare run on outdated systems.
Let’s find out why running on outdated health care systems is not recommended and how you can improve them.
What Systems Are Being Used Today?
Palo Alto networks checked 1.2 million devices of healthcare organizations in the United States. The results showed that 83% of devices in the US healthcare run on outdated software, with 56% of them operating on Windows 7, 27% on Windows XP, or decommissioned versions of Linux OS.
This is a major issue as Microsoft themselves encourages their users to update to Windows 10. Microsoft stopped supporting Windows 7, even if you do not upgrade to Windows 10, your device will continue operating normally.
But, you will no longer receive essential security updates or bug fixes, meaning your device becomes vulnerable to various security threats. Yet, over half of the medical devices in the US are still using Windows 7.
Risks Of Outdated Healthcare Systems
The practice of having updated systems is still lagging significantly when it comes to healthcare. This is an issue that healthcare systems and organizations need to seriously consider, due to these reasons!
Security breaches in the US healthcare system have been growing a lot over the past three years. In 2017, there were 5.1M registered stolen medical records, and the number has been increasing ever since.
In 2018 this figure reached 14M. Until 2019, the number increased by 65%, leaving 40M Americans having their health records compromised. There is a constant increase in these issues and solving them should be a top priority for everyone.
Healthcare cyber threats are a major problem for a few reasons:
-Medical provider networks can contain valuable financial information. Since there are very few people who do not see healthcare providers, nearly everyone’s personal information is available in some form.
-The linked nature of healthcare systems means hackers have access to the data that has been collected under patient’s names for years. Sharing patient information is a very important part of providing the best possible treatment to patients, however, that same sharing also makes networks extremely valuable targets.
-The attacker’s goal is to gather information either to sell or for their personal use. Using the content available through electronic health records, a stranger could use insurance information to set up appointments, undergo expensive medical procedures, or obtain prescription medication under the patient’s name. In these cases, the patient or healthcare organization may be held responsible for the charges or medications.
Communication breakdowns in healthcare can lead to significant issues and failures, often at the expense of patient health. Having outdated systems makes healthcare communication challenging for many reasons.
- One patient can have various professionals providing care often over several unconnected locations. This can create dangerous communication gaps between care coordination and leaving limited opportunities for interaction.
- Differences in education, background, and training amongst healthcare practitioners can result in unclear communication methods. Diversity in communication leads to ineffective communication and misunderstandings.
- Many hospitals and clinics are still using outdated technology and communication systems. While most industries have swapped out their fax machines for email, pagers for smartphones, healthcare clinics are still using these outdated, inefficient communication technologies as a result costing everyone. If a healthcare provider isn’t able to quickly access patient information and collaborate with colleagues efficiently, not only is time and funding wasted but delivery and quality of patient care are inhibited.
Malware and Phishing
Malware and phishing schemes that plant malicious scripts on a computer or steal login credentials can jeopardize an entire system. Outdated systems make businesses vulnerable to these attempts even more.
It’s essential to train staff to recognize common phishing attempts. One common scam is to have emails from authentic-looking sites request login information, something reputable companies never ask through an email. Once a user provides that information, the hacker on the other end can log in to the system. Outdated systems don’t have the antivirus software that new ones do so why not get one?
Benefits Of Using Updated Systems
Updated healthcare systems in hospitals provide a clearer, more complete picture of the patient’s health, helping doctors to confidently do their job. Here are some advantages of updating your systems.
Wireless medical devices have become more user-friendly, and their technology is always improving. Hospitals have to ensure that their operating systems are not only keeping up with these advancements. However, if the hospital’s operating system cannot keep up, the device may be partially or fully unusable. With an updated computer system in place, your hospital can utilize smarter technology and serve your patients better.
Once linked to the system, you can streamline the data and create a complete patient profile. These devices save the patient’s information in easy-to-read formats preventing any misunderstanding of their results. No longer making you rely on handwritten and outdated data but rather clear and complete profiles.
They can also sync their inputs and share among departments more easily, generating clear and fast communication. Additionally, by allowing patients to schedule their appointments on the system, both of you know where and when the patient needs to be somewhere.
The management experience also prospers with this technology. These systems help you understand the staffing needs of your hospital by showing who is working where and for how long. Additionally, you can keep track of how patient care is being managed by seeing what tests are being ordered and their results. As an administrator, you receive a full record of what is going on in the hospital.
Being known as a technologically advanced hospital can improve your rankings. Patients trust hospitals that show that they continue to update and move with the times. This leads to improved reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations. Additionally, insurance and Medicare companies tend to prefer hospitals that provide digital copies of their records. All of this earns you further distinction on the market.
Improve Your Systems Today!
There’s no denying it computers are now the present, not the future. The sooner a hospital adapts and updates these systems, the greater the benefit is to the patient and doctor.
Securing a network can seem like an overwhelming task. Not only must all questions be considered when forming a plan, but you must find a way to provide substantial maintenance to keep systems from becoming outdated by the latest hacking methods and stay in compliance with renewed regulations.
Med-Miles is here to look at your questions and provide professional feedback, making sure your practice keeps growing and is secure at all costs. All you have to do is contact us at
+1 888-598-9181 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org