- Cybersecurity becomes an essential part of healthcare and services linked to it
- Cybersecurity directly influences nursing practice
- Cybersecurity can have both a positive and adverse impact on healthcare
- Understanding and knowledge of informatics is needed to evaluate the issue
- Sensitive data is not protected enough
- Cybersecurity is linked to IT knowledge
Although cybersecurity is a growing trend, it can still disrupt the existing methods and approaches in healthcare. Many patients provide their data in an electronic format; to secure it, knowledge in IT is necessary. Nurses who are responsible for patients’ data will have to learn how to implement new standards professionally.
The rationale for Choosing the Topic
- More devices in healthcare have network integration capabilities (Coronado & Wong, 2014)
- Healthcare facilities store sensitive data
- The medical staff does not always possess the skills to operate the equipment
- Equipment transfers data from one unit to another
- Medical devices become more interconnected (Coronado & Wong, 2014)
- Inability to operate the equipment can lead to data breaches
Since medical facilities engage in complex medical equipment more often in their practice, medical staff needs to understand the causes and consequences of data breaches that can happen. Medical equipment is often interconnected and can send data to other units of the hospital. If there are no cybersecurity standards, the process will remain unregulated and highly unreliable. Personal data becomes more attractive to hackers.
Risk of Cyberhacks
- Existing security tools are reliable but can vary from one organization to another
- Risk-environment is changing, and more hackers are interested in healthcare breaches (Patil & Seshadri, 2014)
- Almost every hospital had a security breach in the past two years (Patil & Seshadri, 2014)
- Low-cost security leads to breaches
- Compatible security algorithms can positively influence the safety of data storage
- Unified network security in hospitals will result in improved coordination between staff and units
There is a medium risk of cyber hacks; since hackers are interested in sensitive data and financial profit they can gain from it, the number of attacks will increase. Unified standards can improve the ability of safeguards to prevent breaches. Low-cost security is also responsible for the increased number of attacks. Coordination between units can help to avoid data breaches.
Impact on Nursing Practice
- Unified cybersecurity allows implementing innovative strategies
- Working process will be better organized
- Productivity will be supported
- Effectiveness will be enhanced
- The nursing practice will apply modern approaches
- Patients will be consulted quickly
When a set of rules is provided, the nursing practice will be guided more efficiently. Innovative strategies can rely on the provided data. Integrity in addressing the problem will help resolve it more quickly. The organized working environment will not interfere with clinical practice.
Pros of Unified Standards
- Unified standards increase the attack-resistance of networks
- Unified standards mitigate the effects of an attack (Sari & Necat, 2012)
- They can increase the overall performance of a network (Sari & Necat, 2012)
- Enhance coordination between networks
- The number of attacks will decrease
- Coordination will be guarded
Unified standards can defend the data and resist data breaches. Moreover, the coordination between different units will be safer as well. The effects of the attack will not be as severe if unified standards are followed. It is likely that the number of attacks will decrease.
Cons of Unified Standards
- Additional expenses for those facilities that implemented their own standards
- Options for providers can be limited as well
- Unified standards are still vulnerable, especially if applicable to several major hospitals
- The transitional period can cause additional pressure on nurses
- Standards are not unbreakable
- Major data leak is still possible
Unified standards of security are still susceptible to specific attacks that are prepared for this type of security. Providers can raise prices due to limitations that standards demand. Nursing education will change. It will also provide additional pressure on those workers who are used to operate other systems.
Application of Informatics Skills
- Encoding of data may be challenging
- Interacting systems need to follow the same system framework
- Producing standards is time- and money-consuming
- Systems need to operate in a standards-based environment
- Systems need to be user-friendly
- The system needs to align with hospital practice
The implementation of unified standards can be challenging because systems will require a unified framework to interact. End-users will need to familiarize themselves with the new systems to comprehend how to operate them. To produce standards, IT professionals will require time and financial support. Informatics skills will be directly linked to data security.
The relevance of Informatics Skills
- End-users will have to learn how to operate the new systems
- Medical staff will adjust to developed standards
- Lack of informatics skills adversely impacts the practice
- Re-authentication is obligatory and often time-consuming
- Usability problems can adversely affect data security
- Patients that do not have informatics skills need to be instructed
All medical staff will need to develop their informatics skills to operate the equipment. The usability of new systems will either lead to increased or decreased efficiency of the data processing. Some usability problems will be time-consuming. Medical staff needs are to be taken into consideration when standards will be developed.
- Ensure that standards are suitable for medical facilities
- Provide education and workshops about informatics skills
- Develop ethical rules that will apply to sensitive data
- Consult patients about standards
- Hire cybersecurity professionals
- Assess previous data leaks
The established standards need to align with facilities’ demands. Additional workshops on cybersecurity will be helpful as well. Ethical rules that will apply to all staff who works with data are necessary. Informatics skills of employees have to be additionally assessed.
- Unified standards will improve data security
- Informatics skills are necessary to operate new systems
- Attacks on private data are increasing
- Standards will limit insurances’ services
- Working process will be more efficient
- Standards can cause temporary inconveniences
The medical staff needs to improve their informatics skills to use the equipment efficiently. Attacks on servers and systems will increase. Therefore, unified standards are needed. However, they can present additional challenges.
Sari, A., & Necat, B. (2012). Securing mobile ad-hoc networks against jamming attacks through unified security mechanism. International Journal of Ad Hoc, Sensor & Ubiquitous Computing, 3(3), 79-94.
Coronado, A. J., & Wong, T. L. (2014). Healthcare cybersecurity risk management: Keys to an effective plan. Biomedical Instrumentation & Technology, 48(1), 26-30.
Patil, H. K., & Seshadri, R. (2014). Big data security and privacy issues in healthcare. Big Data, 1(1), 762-765.