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How Rural Hospitals Can Overcome Outdated Tech And Security Challenges

July 10, 2024
Contributed by: Sarah Richardson
Rural hospitals are facing challenges with outdated technology and increasing cybersecurity threats, worsened by a 12.4% rise in healthcare costs between 2021 and 2023, which outpaced Medicare reimbursement growth. This situation forces hospitals to choose between immediate patient care needs and long-term investments in technology infrastructure. One solution is outsourcing Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) roles to virtual or fractional executives who bring strategic oversight and specialized expertise. This approach can help hospitals navigate cyber insurance, compliance mandates, and improve IT and security operations. However, some argue in-house experts better understand the unique needs of these hospitals. Organizations must decide on the structure of these roles within their operations to balance IT and cybersecurity effectively, with models ranging from unified to independent leadership. Utilizing virtual CIOs or CISOs can significantly strengthen technological resilience in resource-limited rural hospitals.
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