IT Jobs in Healthcare

Computers need Health Care, too It has been Open Season on hospitals and other medical institutions for the last several years.  Perhaps this is...
Tuesday, 24 January 2017 18:16

Computers need Health Care, too

It has been Open Season on hospitals and other medical institutions for the last several years.  Perhaps this is because they're full of altruistic individuals that "just want to help.”  The Hippocratic Oath's most important precept is "Do no harm,” and perhaps it's simply hard for them to imagine anybody else would want to deliberately set out to do damage.

The cure for that particular attitude might simply be a visit to the Emergency Room on any weekend evening.  Apparently there a lot of people who wish to do malicious harm.

Without naming names, since it encompasses just about everybody in the industry anyway, medical institutions have resisted upgrading their software for so long that doing it now is an expensive process.

Coming Home to Roost

In a sad way it's actually a good thing that hospitals have been struck with ransomware, where computers are encrypted and data is made inaccessible until the criminals are paid.  Thousands of lives have been threatened; more than a billion dollars, euros, pounds sterling, and every other currency have been extorted from all sorts of businesses every year.  The single largest victim, 40% of the total, is medical institutions.

In 2016, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Centre in Los Angeles paid 40 bitcoins (an untraceable cryptocurrency) which at the time were worth about $17,000.  They might have found another solution, like many others do, but lives were hanging in the balance while they could not access patient information.

Having your entire database of patient records, medical histories, treatment regimens, surgery schedules, personal data bases, documents, spreadsheets, payroll records, as well as every other vital record essential for your operation threatened suddenly woke up the industry.  

Many paid and kept it secret because of the negative publicity. Many more have become proactive in prevention as a result.

The Silver Lining

Hospitals and healthcare institutions are now on a hiring spree.  They want modern, trained experts in all their vulnerable positions.  You'll see them clamoring for Systems Analysts, System Engineers, Clinical Information Specialists, Healthcare Data Consultants (with SQL experience), Data Scientists, Database Managers, and all sorts of Security Specialists.  

However, even in the traditional areas such as, Professional Billing, IT Revenue Cycle, Ambulatory Report Developer, Telemedicine Project Coordinator, and Inpatient Services (IS) Clinician Coach, the expectation is that either directly, or as a support role, they will handle troubleshooting, training, education, utilization, and security responsibilities for the rest of the staff.

Awareness

Employees with a good grounding in rudimentary security protocols can help others, even if it is not their specialty.  Hiring those individuals means the business is less vulnerable to intrusion type attacks.  Hospitals still need to make the rest of their employees aware of the dangers.

External Anti-Phishing Training is available

Phishing involves trying to trick people into doing something that seems harmless but in reality can cause great damage.  Informing staff that when an employee clicks on an unexpected attachment or a malicious URL (in the form of a link in an e-mail message), it is already too late and the damage is done.  In less than 20 seconds a hidden script downloads the malicious software onto the computer and it executes.  

 In mere moments it inveigles itself into the entire network and begins encrypting files.  Shortly thereafter you will see an extortion screen, appearing on every open screen on the network, with the ransom demands.

Once you've convinced your employees that this sort of thing is truly important, and that the risk is significant, they will generally embrace the online training enthusiastically.  There are many organizations which offer the training, including interactive online video lessons that are only 4 to 10 minutes long, followed up by the periodic fake phishing attempts to keep employees on-their-toes.

The Takeaway

Both specialist and common IT jobs exist in the healthcare market.  Employers need you to be just as talented as any other sector of the IT industry.  The element you can use to distinguish yourself from equal or similar competition is security awareness and Anti-Phishing training. Be sure to emphasize these skills to your Dallas technical recruiter.

All other things being equal, this is the best advantage you can offer a potential employer.  You can make yourself a better candidate with just an hour or two spent researching on the Internet.  It's worth your time.

Read 1224 times Last modified on Wednesday, 15 March 2017 23:00