Disruptions happen. From natural disasters to ransomware cyberattacks, unexpected events can halt healthcare operations, leaving patients vulnerable and staff scrambling. However, a proactive approach – a robust Blackout Blueprint program (PBB) – can make all the difference.

Hospitals are a major target for ransomware attackers because of the value of healthcare data on the dark web and the catastrophic disruption caused by seizing control of healthcare applications. Once attackers have control of healthcare systems, it is literally an issue of life and death. 

A recent study by the University of Minnesota found 374 instances of ransomware attacks on healthcare delivery organizations from 2016 through 2021, and the rate is increasing each year. In addition, a study by the same organization found that ransomware attacks increase mortality rates by 205 to 35% for patients admitted to the hospitals at the time of the attacks.

Recent ransomware attacks on Change Healthcare and Ascension Health have only highlighted the urgency to be prepared for a catastrophic downtime caused by ransomware. As more and more workflows become exclusively digital, organizations must shift from a reactive posture to proactive one and identify what alternatives exist in a catastrophic downtime. 

Blackout Blueprint – Business and Clinical Continuity Planning

Project Blackout BlueprintSM (PBB) is designed to supplement existing disaster recovery (DR), business continuity (BC), incident response, and crisis management plans. In totality, these elements aim to mitigate risk in a catastrophic downtime event by identifying the key workflows that must be supported by alternative processes, which may include supporting technologies. 

Project Blackout Blueprint focuses on all critical clinical and business functions, human resources, finance, patient care delivery, operations, and supply chain. A  key aspect of our work involves engaging various departments to ensure a holistic approach by integrating PBB with existing efforts and keeping the big picture in mind. PBB helps identify gaps in existing efforts to ensure organizational resiliency during a catastrophic downtime event.

Healthcare organizations learned during COVID-19 how painful it is to stop non-critical care delivery. Canceling office visits and elective procedures can cost an organization millions weekly. If an organization is not properly prepared for ransomware, the same thing can happen, forcing it to pay tens of millions in ransomware fees to international bad actors.

We help organizations key in on how to keep clinical operations going while enabling revenue capture and supply chain operations. We partner closely and integrate with the information technology department, but our work does not replace their current technical disaster recovery (DR) plans that is focused on the technical side of the enterprise. Our work focuses on operational healthcare leaders and developing actionable plans they can use in a catastrophic downtime situation.

We Deliver

  • Blueprint development playbooks and knowledge transfer for internal capacity building
  • Facilitated tabletop exercises to stress test Blueprints
  • Ongoing Blueprint management services

Here’s why your healthcare system needs a Blackout Blueprint project now:

  1. Protect Patient Care: Ensure uninterrupted delivery of critical services during disruptions, minimizing patient harm and anxiety.
  2. Empower Your Staff: Equip your team with clear protocols and communication strategies to respond effectively to crises.
  3. Maintain Trust and Reputation: Show your community you’re prepared, fostering trust and minimizing reputational damage during disruptions.

Don’t wait for disaster to strike. Take action today!

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