"The question is not whether a given facility will be attacked, but when," the ECRI report says. "Such incidents don't just interfere with business operations—they can disrupt patient care, posing a real threat of physical harm."
Cyberattacks can have devastating short-term consequences at hospitals, ECRI reports. Hospital units or even entire health systems may be shut down, surgeries may be rescheduled, emergency medical vehicles may be diverted and network-connected medical devices may stop working, ECRI reports. The organization recommends that systems create plans for maintaining patient care during cybersecurity attacks and creating robust security programs.
"The safe use of health technology—from simple devices to complex information systems—requires identifying possible sources of danger or difficulty with those technologies and taking steps to minimize the likelihood that adverse events will occur," the ECRI report says.
ECRI ranked the top 10 technology hazards for 2022 using several criteria, such as how often the events occur, how severe they are and how likely they are to lead to patient safety failures.