When the first 5 letters of a word begin with cyber-, I know I am in trouble. The use of electronic health records and access to the internet has changed aspects of medicine beyond what the average patient may imagine. When I come into an exam room with my computer, I feel uncomfortable having to look at the screen and type instead of focusing on eye contact with my patient. I usually apologize for having to type while talking but there is little choice.

Security surrounding the use of electronic health records both for an office as well as a large health care facility or organization has become an increasingly important need. Most of us have now heard of cyberattacks and cyberwarfare but few of us may know the difference. Cyberattacks are efforts by someone to obtain information and in the case of health care it usually means your health records which include not only your insurance information but your personal financial and health information as well. In 2021, the American Hospital Association reported over 36 million hospitalizations in the US at the same time the federal government reported over 40 million medical records were stolen. Cyberwars are designed to disrupt networks such as electrical systems, water systems and health care systems to mention only a few.

Why am I bringing this up now? You guessed it. My personal computer was hacked. At present, nothing seems to have been stolen or compromised but I will know more in a few days