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Digital security hospitals need better testing

February 14, 2020

Digital security in hospitals must be tested better. This is a recommendation that came up during a recent NPO Radio 1 interview with Jeroen Dijsselbloem, chairman of the Dutch Safety Board. Dijsselbloem conducted research into the digital security of hospitals. One of the conclusions is that practically all processes in hospitals are now digitised. This dependence on ICT can lead to unsafe situations for patients.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem
Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Chairman of the Dutch Safety Board

Understanding complexity

In the interview, Dijsselbloem indicates that insight into the complexity of digital systems must be improved. How do systems interrelate and what happens when systems fail? People often have a fragmentary understanding of how parts of the system are connected. But a complete insight is often lacking. This is at the expense of digital security.

Dijsselbloem also points out the need to put redundancy in order. And more importantly, is this properly tested? This is not just a question of surveying, planning and developing, but also of testing. Sometimes it turns out that there are replacement systems, but even these do not work. This is due to the same soft- or hardware problem. Thorough testing would have brought this to light. If you do not know when a system fails or the fallback to alternative systems works, you have a problem. It is precisely because of this vulnerability that you must carry out controlled testing and practice.

Digital security

So Dijsselbloem's defects points mainly to increasing digital security by optimizing the testing process. Fortunately, we see that a number of hospitals have this well in place. For example, in this blog you can read how Radboud UMC has increased the maturity of the testing process through Testersuite . In addition, we have previously written about test process optimization at hospitals.

Yet there remains much work to be done for various hospitals when it comes to test process improvement. Increasing digital security is not an easy task. It is important to have an overview of all risks, chances of errors and their weighting. And more importantly, that everything is properly tested. Because this involves thousands or sometimes tens of thousands of business processes, good testing tooling is indispensable. A tool such as Testersuite can be a great help.

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Listen here to the interview with Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

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