Hospital Board approves new cyber security program

The Olney Hamilton Hospital Board of Directors met for their regular meeting on Friday, July 27, where they unanimously approved a new cyber security program. The program is run by top-ranked and awardwinning healthcare cyber risk management and regulatory compliance solutions company Clearwater Compliance, LLC. The company is endorsed by the Texas Hospital Association and hospital CEO Mike Huff said members of the company will train staff on avoiding ransomware – a form of malicious software that holds access to your computer until payment has been received – and on other matters regarding online security. The two-year contract with the company is one that is not only good for clinical physicians, but for hospital staff as well, Huff said. “Most hospitals are either doing this or are in this process of doing this,” he said. “I think the training, more than anything, is going to be very beneficial, as there are still hospitals that are getting tied up with ransomware.” In addition to hearing a medical staff report from Dr. Mark Mankins, during which emergency room doctor credentials were approved, as well as a report from Chief Nursing Officer Samantha Isbell, the board also discussed financial matters. Board member Russell Altmiller gave the month financial report, which stated a $199,000 loss in the last month, but decrease in writeoffs in the last month, bringing the year’s total to 62 percent. While Altmiller said the hospital is currently maintaining a steady cash flow, with equipment prices continually increasing and some sources of income being temporary, he said an increase in taxes is likely necessary. “We must keep a positive attitude and keep building revenue to keep Hamilton Hospital at the top of rural hospitals,” Altmiller said. In attendance at the meeting were all board members, as well Olney’s Dr. Purdy and Dr. Johnson. An executive session followed the public meeting. The next meeting of the hospital board of directors is scheduled for August 22.