More than 4 in 5 physicians have experienced a cyberattack: 10 survey insights

More than four in five U.S. physicians (83 percent) have experienced some form of cyberattack in their clinical practices, according to a report released Dec. 12.

Accenture and the American Medical Association surveyed 1,300 U.S.-based physicians on their experiences and attitudes toward cybersecurity, data management and compliance with HIPAA guidelines.

Here are 10 survey insights.

1. Phishing was the most common type of cyberattack, experienced by 55 percent of physicians, followed by computer viruses (48 percent).

2. Medium and large practices were two times more likely than small practices to experience these types of attacks.

3. Sixty-four percent of physicians who experienced a cyberattack reported they suffered up to four hours of downtime before they resumed operations, but roughly 29 percent of physicians in medium-sized practices that experienced a cyberattack suffered almost a full day of downtime.

4. Only 56 percent of physicians reported they alert their health IT vendor when a cyberattack occurs.

5. More than half of respondents (55 percent) said they are extremely concerned about future cyberattacks in their practices.

6. Physicians are most concerned about attacks that could interrupt their practices (74 percent), compromise the security of patient records (74 percent) or impact patient safety (53 percent).

7. Eighty-seven percent of physicians believe their practice is HIPAA compliant, although nearly 66 percent of physicians still have basic questions about HIPAA.

8. Nearly 60 percent of physicians would pay someone to implement a security framework.

9. Most physicians (85 percent) believe exchanging electronic protected health information is important, and two in three physicians believe that more access to patient data would improve care.

10. When asked which support tools physicians needed, respondents cited: tips for good cyber hygiene; a guide on conducting risk assessments; an easily digestible HIPAA summary; and a simplified checklist of HIPAA guidelines.

More articles on cybersecurity:

UNC Health Care warns 24k patients of data breach

Massachusetts students at risk following Medicaid billing company data breach

Jury awards woman $30k after physician ex-husband illegally accessed her medical data

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