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Cybersecurity is becoming an increasingly important topic to all health stakeholders involved in data collection and use – healthcare service providers, medical device manufacturers, health insurers, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare professionals and individual patients. How can we innovate and reform while dealing with increasing and more sophisticated cyber threats? There are issues around governance, risk appetite, protecting and sharing information and organisational preparedness. This is an important aspect of innovating, and one of the most challenging

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Our key take-away as participants and observers at the event were:

  • As digitisation of hospitals and healthcare increases, larger banks of collated data eventuate. This increases significant risk for organisations and health providers responsible for data security in a time where consumer awareness and expectations are increasing around data use, privacy and security.
  • This discussion explored cybersecurity in healthcare, organisational requirements, and combined a wide range of discussions, such as: premise vs cloud, risks of paper based records, and security of health and payment transactions.
  • While embracing with digital programs to support health system changes and digital health innovation, are there inherent and increased risks? How do I balance innovation against risk?
Prof Trish Williams

Prof Trish Williams

Professor of Digital Health Systems

Innovation guide

Trish is the newly appointed Professor and Chair of Digital Health Technologies at Flinders University. Internationally recognised for her medical information security expertise, she applies 30 years’ experience in healthcare computing to practical outcomes in health security, mobile health, data quality, governance, and e-health software safety.

As a passionate contributor, advocate and expert in e-health informatics standards, Trish is previous Chair of HL7 Australia, international co-chair HL7 Security and nominated expert on ISO health informatics standards. Trish is co-editor of HISA’s Privacy Guideline and E-Safety Professional Practice Standard, and a Director on the Board of HISA. Trish is the primary author of the RACGP Computer and Information Security Standards, member of the e-health Industry Clinical Safety and Security Committee. She engages with industry and the professions to further health informatics education and awareness in Australia.

Theresa Meadows

Theresa Meadows

Senior Vice President CIO

Innovation guide

In March 2016 Theresa was appointed to Chair the USA’s HHS’ Health Care Industry Cybersecurity Task Force, an initiative that was mandated by the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015. Meadows is SVP and CIO at Cook Children’s Health Care System,

Theresa has been described as “one of the most forward-thinking CIOs in the industry”. She has more than 20 years of experience facilitating change across large healthcare enterprises, and is a Registered Nurse. She understands the immense challenges healthcare organisations face in protecting patient data and minimising the risk of a cyberattack.

The HHS task force is charged with analysing the unique security challenges and barriers facing healthcare organisations. It will also study how other industries are protecting data. The task force must develop a plan for sharing information among healthcare stakeholders, including the federal government, and is scheduled to issue a report to Congress in the next year.


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