Hack a Jordan

Educate your healthcare staff and make security education a priority

“Hack a Jordan,” is a device used by NBA teams when they play the Los Angeles Clippers. For those unfamiliar, this term refers to teams who intentionally foul DeAndre Jordan, center, for the Los Angeles Clippers. Jordan is infamous for his free throw percentage (or lack thereof), which was 39 percent last year. That’s pretty bad. In comparison, players like Steve Nash, Mark Price, and Steph Curry boast 90%. On average, according to NBA.com, most players are somewhere in the 80 percentile.

You can see why this device may work. It’s risky and a foul does stop the game, maybe discontinuing the momentum, and maybe allow a team to regain some composure. I’ve seen it happen during many Portland Trailblazer games, and although it can be effective, I find it to be a little bit ridiculous (actually, really ridiculous). It’s a risky operation, but one that NBA teams chance far too often.

Although I sit through 42 Blazer games every year, the word hack is more risky to me than an opportunity for a missed free throw.

Almost ten years ago I started working in the healthcare world. Before that time I texted, Facebooked, and emailed from various devices with reckless abandonment. My cell was password-protected, oftentimes my computer was hard wired in and also password-protected; basically, I was an idiot.

In 2002, the word “hack” became a painful personal reality. 24 hours before taking my then 8-year old son to Disneyland, I went to the bank to purchase travelers checks; after all, I was a responsible adult! I told the teller what I wanted and she got her manager, who explained to me that earlier that morning someone had used my debit card (still a pretty new thing), to buy $10,000 worth of electronics in Hong Kong. Clearly, I wasn’t in Hong Kong and although they gave me my money back temporarily while they investigated, I felt violated and my bank made me feel like the criminal.

It’s apparent to me that in our industry, “Hack a Hospital,” is a device cyber criminals favor in their nefarious playbook. We make it easy, don’t we? If leaked PHI were blood, the Red Cross wouldn’t need to have blood drives and zombies wouldn’t need to attack Alexandria. Our industry’s lack of security protocols and compliance education makes a breach so easy. No amount of credit monitoring can eliminate feeling violated when your personal information has been compromised.

Last year, the Department of Health and Human Services reported that security education roughly costs $20 per person, while a breach costs over $200 a person. In 2015, healthcare hacks were exponentially on the rise and many were a result of human error, weak or no firewalls, unencrypted devices, stolen laptops and internal leaks. We’re only human, right? PHI is reported to be more valuable than a wallet full of credit cards and 2016 is predicted to be a banner year for cyber thieves.

Educate your staff and find a monetary way to make security education a priority. Once a person’s identity is stolen, you can’t really get it back. The personal loss and the cost to your business is hard to recover from. 2016 can be the year we’re proactive, not reactive.

Jordan’s fellow Clippers teammate, Blake Griffin, also infamous for his bricks, poked fun at himself in a 2014 Kia commercial. When encountering his young past self, Griffin advised, “Practice your free throws!”

Take it from two men who could lay a foundation for a large city with the “bricks” they throw up every day: good habits require practice for optimum results.