A Few Year End Reminders

By Matt Fisher, General Counsel, Carium
Twitter: @matt_r_fisher
Twitter: @cariumcares
Host of Healthcare de Jure#HCdeJure

The clock is quickly ticking down to the end of 2021, which from many perspectives is a year to forget. While attention may begin shifting to the new year, that is not a reason to skip too far ahead and stay in the present. If attention is diverted from the day to day too much, then risk will rise and a complication could occur.

Some Quick Reminders

What does it mean to stay in the present? One major point is to maintain all appropriate security protections and potentially increase vigilance for the end of the year. The healthcare industry remains a primary target for cyber attackers, which is clearly evidenced by the daily report of a ransomware or other attack. The holidays offer an opportunity for different forms of social engineering that tap into the holiday spirit and desire to provide assistance. Before clicking a link or responding to a request be sure to pause for a moment and ensure that the request is not a fake.

Keeping attention on security also requires not getting lax with system controls or not staying on top of outside developments. The next big issue will certainly be unexpected as evidenced by the log4j vulnerability. Even if issues will always be unexpected, being quick with a response is something that can be fully controlled. A quick response is only possible if attention remains focused and teams are ready to go. That posture may be tough at the end of the year when energy runs low, but it is important to continue supporting each other and operations to avoid a bigger problem.

Another reminder is that upcoming regulatory requirements should factor into plans very early in the new year. Frankly, the attention to regulatory compliance shouldn’t be limited just to new regulations, but to all requirements. However, the hook of new ones is an appealing means of drawing attention and hopefully new energy. In particular, attention will hopefully go to information blocking and access requirements, which are really a mix of new and old obligations. The transition to a new year can be an opportunity to turn a page and start over. Why not here.

A Thank You

Along with the reminders, the end of the year is also a time to remember and appreciate all that has happened. All across the healthcare landscape challenges were frequent and deep. However, as often happens, many within the industry, especially the clinical community, rose to meet those challenges and help people. Remembering that care, compassion, and connection are some of the central tenets should not be forgotten. It can be difficult in the day to day drudgery, which is why taking a moment to step back and acknowledge all of the hard work and commitment is important. If everyone can remember that clinicians and many in healthcare are doing the best they can and just trying to help people, it would be a help.

With that in mind, a big thank you is important.

To the New Year

The one certainty about 2022 is that many unexpected events will happen. No matter what ends up happening though, let’s remember that heart of healthcare, which is to help all and improve wellbeing for everyone.

This article was originally published on The Pulse blog and is republished here with permission.