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June 2017

The importance of cyber and data security – discover our ‘Top 4 Tips’

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Cyber threats are feeling closer to home than ever before with more than 150 countries targeted in the largest known virtual software attack in mid-May, impacting and holding ransom to more than 200,000 individual systems.[1] The greatest impact has been seen in the United Kingdom, with the National Health Service forced to cancel hospital operations, deter patients from presenting in E&T and diversion of ambulances from facilities struggling to cope, after computer access to patient files, scans and test results became frozen and inaccessible. Hospitals, general practices and allied health services were forced to shut down when access to patient records were unobtainable and prescription of medicines was near impossible.[2]

In 2012, hackers undertook an attack on Miami Family Medical Centre, located on the Gold Coast, encrypting data and demanding $4,000 in ransom to release all systems. Although back-up disks and practice programs were corrupted, the functioning back-up system which was not connected to the server ensured all data was retrieved with no records stolen.[3]

Following the peak of this global attack, the Australian Federal Government has confirmed three private businesses have been affected, stressing the importance of information security on computer systems and maintenance of antivirus software to protect against likely future attacks.

The attack exploited vulnerability in Microsoft Windows’ infrastructure infiltrating a software bug into those systems which had not been upgraded, after a repair patch was released in March of this year. The major issue highlighted by this occurrence is the limited understanding of IT infrastructure and security requirements by organisational staff.

As health care providers, computer systems play a central role in day-to-day activities within a practice setting and hold a wealth of personal and sensitive information regarding your patient population. With the looming threat of more cyber attacks set to occur in our digital world, this malicious incident indicates that now is the time to review your current computer security systems, backups and processes to ensure your practice is protected from a pending attack.

AGPAL and QIP’s IT team have identified the top 4 tips to start mitigating your risk when it comes to cyber-attacks and computer and data security.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For more information regarding your accreditation requirements or the topics outlined in this feature, please contact our QIP team, call 1300 888 329 or email info@qip.com.au.

 

Celebrating World Accreditation Day 2017 with the ISQua Fellowship Internship Programme

Friday 9 June marks World Accreditation Day 2017, a global initiative to raise awareness of the importance of accreditation.

The AGPAL Group of Companies acknowledge that achieving accreditation takes dedication, team work and a commitment to continuous quality improvement.

Organisations that undergo accreditation commit themselves to a comprehensive program which involves their team reviewing the organisation systems and processes, prior to an independent on-site assessment conducted by dedicated surveyors and assessors.

In an effort to set the benchmark for accreditation and healthcare quality on an international scale, the AGPAL Group of Companies is pleased to again be supporting the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua) Fellowship Internship Programme (the Program). The Program offers opportunities designed to stimulate thought and innovation, instil competence and confidence, and encourage best practice around the world.

We will host four interns, two at a time, for two weeks, starting in September 2017, when we will be joined by Dr Shazia Aman, from Pakistan, and Dr Umesh Gupta, from Papua New Guinea. Then in November we will welcome Dr Syed Sajid Ahmed, from Qatar, and Dr Wesam Mansour, from Egypt.

The 2017 Program comes after the success of the inaugural placement of ISQua interns. In 2016 we welcomed two interns, Girish Swaminathan, NSW, and Dr Tamer Farahat, Dubai, who were provided first-hand experience of the processes and systems of Australian healthcare accreditation throughout the duration of their two month stay with the AGPAL Group of Companies.

We look forward to sharing our interns’ experience with you later this year!

 

Read about the 2016 ISQua Fellowship Programme

  • To listen to ISQua’s interview with Girish Swaminathan about his experience as an intern with AGPAL and QIP in 2016, click here.
  • To read about Dr Tamer Farahat’s experience as an intern with AGPAL and QIP in 2016, click here.
  • More information regarding the ISQua Fellowship Internship Programme can be found here.