Keynote Speaker Robyn Benincasa talks about building winning teams at 56th ASHE Annual Conference

Image courtesy of ASHE

Thousands gathered today at the 56th American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) Annual Conference & Technical Exhibition in Baltimore.

ASHE President Dean Pufahl, CHFM, CHC, kicked off this morning’s general session by recognizing several influential members in the association, including the ASHE board, regional leaders and the 2019 Crystal Eagle Award winner York Chan, CHFM, CHC, SASHE, administrator of facilities, Advocate Health Care, Chicago.

He also announced that ASHE’s Energy to Care program is in the midst of launching a new and improved dashboard featuring a “new clean and simple interface customized for American Hospital Association (AHA) and ASHE members.”

Robyn Benincasa, an award-winning athlete, motivational speaker, fire fighter, author, and founder and CEO of Project Athena Foundation, was this year’s keynote speaker.

In her address, “Why Winners Win,” Benincasa pulled from her years of experience as an adventure athlete to share the essential elements of human synergy and building world-class teams.

One of the keys to build a winning team, she says, is to foster total commitment among team mates by mapping out a course for success. Benincasa affirmed that the course should be driven by the hope of success rather than the fear of failure.

“Commitment starts when the fun stops,” she says.

John Riggi, senior advisor for cybersecurity and risk, AHA, led the afternoon general session titled “Cybersecurity & Vendor Risk Management.”

Riggi listed the six major cyber threats facing health care facilities and strategies to mitigate their risk. The six major threats are:

  • Crypto hijacking
  • Internal threats
  • Ransomware
  • Business email compromise
  • Supply chain attacks
  • Computer intrusions

Riggi says that although the number of cybersecurity incidents decreased from 2017 to 2018, the dollar losses suffered by health care institutions is higher due to cyber criminals making more targeted and strategic attacks.

Identifying internal risks, as well as risks associated with vendors is key to building a hospital’s cyber defenses, Riggi explains. Systems connected by the Internet of Things — security cameras, smartboards, refrigerators, hvac systems, power supply, elevators, etc., — has created lots of opportunity but also risks, he says. He laid out several considerations hospitals should look at when mapping out a cyber defense plan, including building in manual overrides, and building for resiliency and redundancy for life support and mission-critical systems.

Riggi maintains that awareness plus collaboration and preparedness can lead to a greater confidence in health care cyber security systems

“Cyber hygiene is like medical hygiene,” he says. “It helps protect the patient and delivery of care.”

Read Day 2 coverage of the annual conference.