3 Issues Caused by Healthcare IT Staffing Shortages - MedCerts

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Traditional hiring methods aren't working. The demand for IT personnel is so great that healthcare staffing specialists are struggling to find qualified candidates.

In 2019, there were 6,646 new IT job postings from healthcare facilities in the United States. In addition, 7,522 positions were still open from the previous year. However, there are some outside-the-box training solutions available to help fill the void.

Here are just a few of the medical, legal, and financial disasters, qualified IT personnel can help you prevent:

1. Risk of HIPPA violations

When hackers expose patient information, your organization can find itself liable for HIPPA violations if it has not adequately protected its emails, electronic health records, patient portal, and computer systems.

Problem: Vulnerability to privacy breaches

HIPPA violations can cost your organization in more ways than one.

  • Fines of up to $1,500,000
  • Class-action lawsuits with their associated lawyer and court costs, not to mention payouts
  • Negative press that can damage your organization's reputation

Solution: Train your own cybersecurity analyst

With hospital staffing agencies all over the country scrambling to find qualified IT candidates, traditional job posts may not bring a certified specialist to your door. But what if you provide a bright, capable, and committed candidate with short-term training that enables them to assess and mitigate security risks?

MedCerts has a 5-week online Cybersecurity Analyst program that results in CySA+ certification and teaches defensive strategies so the analyst can protect your organization from the threats they discover.

2. Vulnerability to Cyberattacks

Ransomware and other viruses can cripple a hospital or healthcare system. Without an IT security specialist to provide risk management, your organization is vulnerable to cyberattacks that can delay or otherwise compromise patient care.

Problem: Aggressive cyberattacks are on the rise

In the past, most cyberattacks against healthcare organizations were designed to steal patient information. While continuing to fight those hackers, healthcare organizations must also face an even darker threat: The new tide of cybercrime aims to disrupt the day-to-day operation of healthcare facilities.

Ransomware can lock up electronic health records or freeze computer systems. This can:

  • Endanger patients
  • Lead to revenue loss as patients are turned away and appointments are canceled
  • Create a PR disaster

Solution: Harness the power of cross-training

Rather than spending time and money hunting for and onboarding an IT specialist, cross-train a current staff member. The IT Security Specialist program at MedCerts culminates in Security+ certification. It will prepare your employees to assess and mitigate security risks for your organization.

3. Compromised Patient Safety

One of the most dangerous forms of cybercrime is the hacking of medical devices. A 2019 survey of healthcare organizations reported that 82% had endured such attacks.

Problem: Tech boom + healthcare staffing shortages = open door for cybercriminals

Without a dedicated cybersecurity specialist working to protect your organization, hackers can access and control:

  • Patient wearables such as pacemakers and insulin pumps
  • Diagnostic equipment like MRI machines and CT scanners
  • Anything connected to the Internet, including ventilators

Solution: Turn your run-of-the-mill IT person into a cyber crime-fighting machine

Who wants to hire from the outside when you can upskill a dedicated team member? The Ethical Hacker program offered by MedCerts takes just 6 weeks and equips your IT professional with offensive strategies so they can take on cyber criminals before they strike.

A Path Forward

The number and severity of security threats to healthcare today require action. Healthcare staffing specialists are uniquely positioned to protect their organizations and the patients they serve by adding trained, certified IT security specialists to their teams.

MedCerts can help you train promising candidates and cross-train or upskill employees to fill crucial cybersecurity roles, protecting patients and your organization. Browse their extensive list of IT training programs here.

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Published on February 25, 2020