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Kaspersky Survey Raises Concerns About Patient Trust in Telehealth




A survey released this past week by the cybersecurity company Kaspersky found that globally, the majority of providers have already implemented telehealth capabilities, with many saying their patients are more interested in virtual sessions due to their convenience.

At the same time, many respondents flagged patient trust in the modality, with more than half of frontline remote telehealth providers experiencing cases where individuals have declined a video call with medical staff out of privacy or data safety concerns.

“Healthcare professionals see a continued future with telehealth solutions, but many of them also believe that this will only be sustainable if there is a global improvement of data security for the solution,” wrote the report authors.


With a spotlight continuing to shine on the impacts of cybersecurity issues for healthcare providers, it’s perhaps no surprise that patients would feel anxiety too.

In addition to the 52% of providers who said such concern led patients to refuse video-based care, 81% of respondents cited their own fears around remote telehealth sessions.

“These include concerns about how patient data will be used and shared from these sessions, as well as the security of data and any personal penalties that might arise in the case of a leakage from a remote consultation,” said report authors.

The report – which analyzed the results of 389 interviews with sole or joint decision-makers – found that about one-third of respondents said their organization has faced cybersecurity issues due to third-party technology vulnerabilities.

Worryingly, only three in ten said they were “very confident” in their company’s ability to effectively stop all perimeter breaches.

A slightly higher percentage said they had confidence in their organizations having adequate hardware and software IT security protection, and 38% said their company had the necessary measures in place to safely use telehealth.

Some of the data was a bit more heartening: 70% of respondents said their organization had dedicated security awareness training for all employees whose work involves technology.

“Despite the risks, there is still a positive future in store for telehealth and the general use of technology when it comes to health, with most of the medical community agreeing that telehealth and medical technologies will flourish and revolutionize the whole industry,” said report authors.


As telehealth utilization has spiked over the past year and a half, cyber experts have advised caution.

The rapid spin-up of many programs, combined with the shift to remote work for employees, could act as “blood in the water” for bad actors, some warned.

The risks aren’t just limited to synchronous video appointments. More healthcare providers have moved toward remote patient monitoring devices, which could also contribute to network vulnerabilities.

“Security is not just within four walls,” said Sri Bharadwaj, vice president of digital innovation and applications at Franciscan Health, in a recent interview on the subject with Healthcare IT News.


“The healthcare sector has demonstrated its agility and solidarity throughout the COVID pandemic. The fast ramp-up of telehealth increased optimism regarding digital health.

“We must continue the momentum and build the readiness on technologies, patients and providers,” said Dr. Chengyi Lin, affiliate professor of strategy at INSEAD, in a statement accompanying the Kaspersky report.

Kat Jercich is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Twitter: @kjercich
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.


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Health Care

PatientBond, Vizient Team up for Digital Behavior Change Tools




Patient engagement SaaS provider PatientBond and healthcare performance improvement and analytics company Vizient are partnering up to provide Vizient member healthcare organizations with digital patient engagement and behavior change programs.

WHY IT MATTERSPatientBond’s digital engagement workflows can be personalized with psychographic insights, with the aim of activating patient behaviors and driving improved patient engagement and outcomes.

Through the partnership, Vizient’s customer base, which includes academic medical centers, pediatric facilities, and community hospitals, will offer programming including care gap closures, condition specific messaging, screenings and appointment reminders and appropriate use communications.

The aim of the programs is to reduce hospital readmissions and improve digital health risk assessments.

Other programs included in the deal will provide psychographically segmented marketing campaigns to advance patient/member activation, as well as patient and physician matching or find a doctor services based on psychographic insights.

The deal will also provide extensive market research insights and dynamic payment reminders for partners.

THE LARGER TRENDPatient-reported outcomes are a critical way to assess the ongoing state of patient health and satisfaction, and a growing number of digital tools are helping them do so.

The financial upside for care providers is also noteworthy: Jackson Hospital significantly improved its finances with digital patient engagement tools, switching from letters and phone calls to automated emails and text messages along with some help from analytics.

At Rush University Medical Center, the hospital has deployed similar digital tools to reduce the strain of avoidable readmissions and ED recidivism when resources already were at capacity.

Last year, Cardinal Health announced the launch of a digital patient engagement platform aimed at addressing medication adherence challenges – a significant issue for the health industry and patients.

In 2019, Vizient collaborated with Civica Rx on provider needs analytics data to reduce Rx costs. By providing insights into purchasing patterns and provider needs through its analytics and data capabilities, Vizient helped Civica Rx anticipate gaps in drug availability and affordability.

ON THE RECORD“PatientBond brings consumer science and dynamic intervention technologies to healthcare with unmatched clinical and business results,” said PatientBond CEO Justin Dearborn in a statement. “Vizient’s member healthcare organizations can benefit from PatientBond’s personalized patient engagement at scale with proven and consistent results.”

Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin.Email the writer: nathaneddy@gmail.comTwitter: @dropdeaded209

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Health Care

LifePoint Health Inks Data Deal With Health Catalyst




Brentwood, Tennessee-based LifePoint Health has entered a new collaboration with Health Catalyst and will use its analytics technologies to help bolster care quality, lower costs and improve population health management.

WHY IT MATTERSLifePoint Health will integrate Health Catalyst’s data operating system and analytics tools to gather performance metrics and drive improvements in healthcare quality, reporting and operational and financial decision-making.

By discovering and sharing clinical data, the partnership will help reduce variation in clinical outcomes. Health Catalyst’s tools dovetail with LifePoint’s national quality and facility recognition program goals to measurably improve patient care, safety and satisfaction as well as improve access and lower costs, according to the company.

In addition to the cloud-based data platform, LifePoint will use Health Catalyst’s analyzer, insights, AI, patient safety monitoring and data entry applications. The suite of tools can help increase organizational speed and interoperability, according to Health Catalyst.


While healthcare organizations are just beginning to scratch the surface of using data to drive improvements, according to Health Catalyst President Patrick Nelli, the company’s strategic acquisitions have provided them with the ability to customize software and services around core care systems.

One of them was its purchase earlier this year of KPI Ninja, whose event-driven data processing capabilities complement Health Catalyst’s own platform, enabling customers to build new services and operational tools around their core care systems.

LifePoint, meanwhile, has been making acquisitions of its own, such as its June 2021 addition of specialty hospital company Kindred Healthcare, with an eye toward a delivery network that taps into Kindred’s specialty hospital and rehabilitative expertise and its behavioral health platform.

ON THE RECORD“The Health Catalyst DOS platform, along with our technology product suites and applications, and improvement expertise, will best position LifePoint Health to achieve, sustain and scale the highest standards of care across its network,” said Health Catalyst CEO Dan Burton in a statement this week.

Andrea Fox is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.Email: afox@himss.orgHealthcare IT News is a HIMSS publication.


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Fifteen Months for Domestic Worker Who Stole Jewellery




On Thursday, a Palma court sentenced a domestic worker to fifteen months for the theft of jewellery from her employer, a woman in her eighties.

Between 2015 and the end of 2020, the 45-year-old Chilean worked two days a week at the woman’s home in Sa Indioteria, Palma. Over that period, she stole various items of jewellery. The woman only realised this at the end of 2020, which was when she reported the matter to the National Police.

The police established that these items, which included watches, rings and bracelets, were sold in gold-buying establishments in Palma. The woman later verified that these were hers. As well as the jewellery, a hearing aid was stolen.

In January 2021, the domestic worker was arrested. Described as being in an “irregular situation” in Spain, her lawyer obtained agreement for the sentence to be suspended so long as a sum of 10,700 euros is paid over three years, at a rate of 297 euros per month, and she does not commit another crime during this period.


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