With the recent spree of ransomware attacks unfolding in hospitals throughout the country, one thing is clear: a dependence on all-in-one software systems makes hospitals especially vulnerable during unexpected system outages.
MedStar Health recently learned this hard lesson when a crypto-ransomware computer virus infected their network, shutting down their email and their records database. The hospital slowed to a crawl. As one employee described the crisis in The Washington Post: “Even the lowest-level staff can’t communicate with anyone. You can’t schedule patients, you can’t access records, you can’t do anything.”
This new threat is not a simple problem to solve, and it is frightening to see an isolated incident turning into a pattern. But there is one obvious way to prepare for cyberattacks like those that have struck hospitals including Hollywood Presbyterian, Methodist Hospital in Kentucky, and now Medstar. Our healthcare communications systems need more redundancy. Again for emphasis: redundancy.
Here at TigerText, secure communication is our core focus. Watching these attacks reminds us how important our work is, because it reveals how heavily a hospital relies on electronic communication to provide patient care day in and day out. When we hear about a primary system like an EMR going offline, we can’t help but think it would be wise to have a back-up option for communication, rather than relying on just one system.
Because TigerText is a cloud-based platform, it could serve as exactly this kind of redundancy during an IT outage. Hospitals stranded without on-premise software could still use TigerText, securely humming on its remote server and isolated from any ransomware. Care teams could continue coordinating by text, they could share lab results, images, and other files without accessing the EMR. Doctors, nurses, IT, and everyone else could continue conducting business — even with the most basic usage, available at no cost by downloading the app.
While healthcare organizations primarily buy TigerText to accelerate their daily workflow, it is also true that if the unexpected happens and IT systems go down, the platform could help keep care teams operating efficiently on a separate, cloud-based channel. In other words, TigerText can serve as an invaluable failsafe in this new era of ransomware threats.
Wondering how TigerText could help your team? Give your colleagues the download link and take it for a spin: