After data breaches, as many as 36 additional deaths per 10,000 heart attacks occurred annually at the hundreds of hospitals examined in the new study. Heart attacks rank among the most common medical emergencies in the U.S., with approximately 735,000 Americans experiencing one every year.
The number of health care entities affected by electronic breaches has risen 20 percent in 2019 compared to all of last year. Those breaches involved the medical records of 38 million health care customers, the largest number since 2015 when massive hacks struck Anthem, Blue Cross, Excellus and UCLA Health System.
Electronic medical records, though billed as a modern pathway to efficiency, are already known to cause friction among health professionals, occasionally slowing care and leading to inferior health outcomes. Johnson and his colleagues suspect that the newly installed efforts to thwart future digital breaches are unintentionally amplifying this discord.
[Old] Data breach remediation efforts and their implications for hospital quality [iophk: Microsoft Windows kills]
Hospital time‐to‐electrocardiogram increased as much as 2.7 minutes and 30‐day acute myocardial infarction mortality increased as much as 0.36 percentage points during the 3‐year window following a breach.
Breach remediation efforts were associated with deterioration in timeliness of care and patient outcomes. Thus, breached hospitals and HHS oversight should carefully evaluate remedial security initiatives to achieve better data security without negatively affecting patient outcomes.
Hospitals that have been hit by a data breach or ransomware attack can expect to see an increase in the death rate among heart patients in the following months or years because of cybersecurity remediation efforts, a new study posits. Health industry experts say the findings should prompt a larger review of how security — or the lack thereof — may be impacting patient outcomes.
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