They all impact healthcare in a number of ways. Not to mention, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought heightened awareness to all of them. So, what do we do about it — worry, fret, let things overwhelm us? Or, are there steps we can take to address effectively?

At our recent Inspirien Risk Management Seminar, our speakers addressed these questions and not only provided us with information to help us better understand the topics, but gave us actionable steps for prevention, preparedness and response to each. Let’s take a closer look at what was shared at the Seminar.

Erin Illman, who is a partner at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP and a Board-Certified Specialist in Data Privacy and Information shared pertinent information related to the management of cyber risk. Erin discussed that not only are the processes around cyber threats evolving, but they are well-funded, and efforts are increasing daily. She shared differences in past ransomware efforts and provided insight into the complexity and magnitude of evolving ransomware. One pertinent point was that “attackers are in a system an average of 30 days before deploying ransomware.” Therefore, we need to be vigilant in keeping our systems protected and report when something doesn’t seem right. Erin went on to provide practical information about the importance of integrating a proactive cybersecurity approach into an organization’s strategic plan. This includes steps to educate staff on identifying ‘blind spots’ so that they can be addressed.

Inspirien’s own VP of Legal Services, Bill McGowin was next up on the agenda and provided an overview of the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP). The Act, historically used to protect vaccine and drug manufacturers from liability while encouraging the rapid production of vaccines, drugs, and medical devices also offers tort liability immunity during a pandemic or epidemic. Bill shared valuable insights into how this will most likely impact future litigation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bill provided an overview of current litigation cases and gave steps organizations should consider to ensure the protection provided in this Act is effective. For further information on this and other processes relevant to the pandemic, please visit our COVID-19 Toolkit provided on Inspirien’s website HERE.

Dr. Brigitta Mueller, the Executive Director of Patient Safety, Risk & Quality for ECRI wrapped up the morning with a thorough discussion of lessons learned during the pandemic while also focusing on how translate them into initiatives to help organizations better prepare for “whatever is next”. Dr. Mueller encouraged organizations to update their disaster recovery strategic operations plan, with a focus on patient and employee safety. She highlighted several best-practice tools and resources available to help with the development of this type of strategic documentation.

All in all, time was well spent by those who participated in the Seminar as these points were explored and suggestions for improvement provided. Elements that permeated the Seminar included the importance of effective communication, as well as the necessity of organizational-wide approach using an Enterprise Risk Management strategy.

While the physical, emotional and financial impact to both people and organizations has been felt from the COVID-19 pandemic, it has offered us a great opportunity improve our responsiveness to disaster recover in the future. The seminar offered participants a reflective review of the situation and actionable next steps for planning for the next unthinkable disaster.

For more information on how to develop effective risk prevention strategies, please visit resources on our Inspirien website or contact a member of our Inspirien Risk Prevention team at 1-800-821-9605.