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2021 will be the year that Cybersecurity finally becomes a top priority for healthcare. No really, this is the year. 

What are my data points. At the JPM conference this week I heard more executives talk about cybersecurity than at previous meetings. In fact, OhioHealth CEO floored me with their COVID plan which placed Cyber as one of the top two items back in March. Here's a quote.

"It's been my experience that when you think about cyber, which is very, very important when you're going to get a cyber attack, it's when you're looking the other way. So we put that at the right, at the top of our list, we had a high emphasis from the very start". Dr. Steven Markovich, President and CEO of OhioHealth

Rod Hochman, M.D. the CEO of Providence published his annual predictions for healthcare this week and coming in at number 3 was "Cybersecurity becomes a burning priority for health systems."

This year it makes the scorecard, right next to safety, employee satisfaction, and profitability. Since there is a cyber war raging, that probably makes sense.

Transcript

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 Today in Health it, this story is healthcare, CEO priorities for 2021 and beyond. My name is Bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of this week in Health IT a channel dedicated to keeping health IT staff current and engaged. We wanna thank today's sponsor, Sirius Healthcare, for renewing their commitment to our mission of developing the next generation of health leaders.

If you wanna be a part of our mission, you can become a sponsor as well by sending an email to partner at this week in health it.com. Alright, and now on to today's story. I love the JP Morgan conference because it gives me a glimpse into 16 health system boardrooms. I hear from CEOs and CFOs on their past and in their future.

I take, uh, just copious notes and I'll, I'm gonna read through those notes several times over the next week. I try to not only deter, I try to determine the themes and the plans, not only from what they said, but also from just what you know, how they knit together, how, how you look at 16 different CEOs and what they said about the, uh, about the market, about, uh, healthcare in general.

And, uh, about regulatory and about other, other things that were popping up. And so when you see multiple health systems start to rise something up, you know that you're, you're seeing something that's gonna happen across healthcare, uh, and t Today, I really wanna mention a surprise new emphasis from the CEOs of these health systems.

2021 is gonna be the year of cybersecurity. It's finally going to become a top priority for healthcare. ? No. Really? No. No. Really, this is the year, it's, it's not that it wasn't a priority for health systems prior to this, but it, it really was a priority for the CIO and the, and the CISO for the chief information Security officer.

You know, they handled cybersecurity and still will, but they also handled board level conversations and it was usually part of a subcommittee of the board. And that is about to change, uh, you know, what are my data points? Well, obviously the JP Morgan conference is, is one of my . Primary data points for this story.

Uh, at the conference this week, there was a lot of executive talk about cybersecurity. Uh, definitely a lot more than at previous meetings. In fact, you know, one of the, one of the quotes that really floored me came from, uh, Dr. Steven Markovich, who's the president and CEO of Ohio Health. and uh, here, here's, I'll just give you the quote.

Here's the quote. It's been my experience that when you think about cyber, which is very, very important when you're going to get a cyber attack, it's when you're looking the other way. So we put that right at the top of our list and we had a high emphasis from the very start. And so that's, that's ACEO, that's Dr.

Steven Markovich, president and CEO of Ohio Health. You know, you have to love military guys. Dr. Markovich is a former mil military person, and he was trained to see the whole board identify the risk from all angles, not just the ones that you see directly in front of you, but the ones that are on the periphery.

And, uh, he was also trained not to ignore them. But that's not my only data point. I'm thumbing through LinkedIn this morning and I see Rod Hockman has published his 2012 predictions for the year, and Rod Hockman is the CEO of Providence. And, uh, coming in at number three for, for, uh, his predictions for 2021 is cybersecurity Becomes a Burning priority for health systems.

He notes in the article that protecting data from cyber criminals remains a top concern for providers. I would say it differently this year. It moves up a notch. and let's hope it does because you know, quite frankly, we suck at it. The amount of breaches continues to rise. Successful ransom attacks. This, uh, in 2020, uh, we're likely at an all time high and the wall of shame continues to grow.

Uh, numbers, you know, we're probably gonna cover actually, we, we, I know we will cover on the News Day Show with Drexel Ford when he comes on, uh, this year, cybersecurity . Finally makes the scorecard, it's gonna be right next to safety, employee satisfaction and profitability. , you know, it, it makes sense, right?

Since there is a cyber war raging, we are finally gonna elevate this to the CEO priority level, and I wouldn't be surprised to see some incentives for CEOs moving forward that are gonna be tied. To cybersecurity. Uh, probably not only the CEO. Uh, obviously when incentives get handed to ACEO around cybersecurity, those will flow down into the organization.

So I think we're gonna see a whole new level of emphasis and priority placed on cybersecurity in healthcare for 2021 and beyond. That's all for today. If you know someone that might benefit from our channel, please forward them a note. They can subscribe on our website this week, health.com, or wherever you listen to podcast Apple, Google Overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, you get the picture.

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