Cybercrime Causes Medical Chaos, Increases Fatal Events in Hospitals

Cybercrime is leading to higher rates of death in health care facilities, when the institutions or their vendors are paralyzed by ransomware attacks. A pair of stories by security reporter Brian Krebs offers statistics on the slowdown in delivery of lifesaving treatments while data systems are locked up, and even months after the systems are restored.

Besides immediate jeopardy for the patient when doctors and nurses can’t pull up medical records, there are downstream detrimental effects that might not occur to you. Everything takes longer. Ambulances are rerouted to distant emergency rooms. Nursing homes can’t bill Medicaid on time, leaving patients without drug coverage, or worse – with nowhere to go if the state cuts off payment. 

A significant number of poor (and catastrophic) medical outcomes may have their roots in breached electronic medical systems. Attorneys do a disservice to their clients if they fail to take into account the full range of relevant digital data that may exist. A specialized approach to discovery is necessary in these cases.

Habeas Hard Drive predicted some of the chaos in 2015, writing about rampant dissatisfaction with electronic medical systems by medical professionals. At a town hall hosted by the American Medical Association, doctors had a variety of complaints. But the medical community did not grasp how their interactions with electronically stored data would open the door for data breaches.

This week’s stories contain links to new research about the effect of cybercrime on patient care. By the account of the researchers, these studies reveal just the tip of the iceberg. You may want to keep them in your files, to review when the time comes.