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Digital Magazine

Organization and clinical hurdles during vaccination campaigns

The global rollout of vaccines provides promise, but we must equally recognize the enormous hurdles of distributing and administering vaccinations at scale. The logistical difficulties are well chronicled, but cyber security dangers are also a serious concern that must be addressed.

Risks to patients and the organization

These times healthcare industry is particularly concerned about two issues. The first one is the prevalence of unsecured devices as well as legacy technology (like workstations, network infrastructure) in most healthcare institutions. The second concern is the rising risk profile related to network-connected medical devices, sometimes known as the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) devices. These factors, when considered collectively, pose considerable clinical as well as organizational hazards.

For instance, if a ‘standard’ indiscriminate ransomware assault targets a vaccination hub or any hospital website and disables patient administration as well as EMR systems, vaccines would be severely disrupted solely because patient information could not have been authenticated. If you carry it a step farther with a more focused attack, pharmacy systems as well as IoMT equipment like drug fridges or dispensing cabinets could be hacked. These might have a greater consequence as it could face the loss of very expensive batches of vaccinations of the most time and temperature-sensitive vaccines as a result.

Minimizing human errors, enhancing clinical outcomes, increasing care coordination, boosting practice efficiencies, as well as collecting data over time are just some of the ways that health information technology can help improve and revolutionize healthcare.