Canadian healthcare industry needs to overcome technological challenges: Hashtag Trending for Friday, June 28th, 2024

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Just a heads up that this is our last daily news program next week. We are going to take some much-needed R&R next week and enjoy Canada Day and the 4th of July.  We do have a weekend show and I’ll be back in the news chair on Monday July the th.

A new study shows significant technological challenges in Canada’s healthcare sector. Microsoft is in hot water again because of another massive security breach. And Canada’s telecommunications giant TELUS is recognized as one of the most sustainable companies in the world by TIME magazine.

All this and more on the “it ain’t the cover of the Rolling Stone, but it will have to do” edition of Hashtag Trending.  I’m your host Jim Love, let’s get into it.

A new study reveals significant technological challenges in Canada’s healthcare sector. The research surveyed healthcare professionals across Canada and found that critical technology gaps in healthcare organizations significantly impact patient care and leave sensitive data open to cyber-attacks.

By coincidence, this story crossed my desk on the same day that I attended a meeting of the Digital Governance Council, a national group that brings together the private and public sector to drive digital innovation in Canada. The discussion from that group was absolutely consistent with the findings of the SOTI report.

96% of IT decision-makers acknowledging the need for better technology but progress has been very slow.

The report notes that healthcare staff lose nearly 4 hours weekly due to technical issues. It notes that  Telehealth adoption is rising, but 26% of organizations struggle with remote device support, and 77% still rely on outdated technology.

97% of organizations have considered incorporating AI into patient care, but progress may be held back by risks of privacy.  71% of those surveyed worry about patient privacy risks for good reason.

Data security concerns have escalated, with 51% reporting external data breaches, up from 23% last year.

Shash Anand, SVP of Product Strategy at SOTI, emphasizes the urgent need for technological upgrades, stating, “Without these necessary advancements, we risk further exacerbating existing challenges in patient care, data management and operational efficiency.”

We tend to put it more bluntly. Without embracing a digital transformation and productivity revolution Canada’s health care system will continue to decline. It’s time to stop admiring the problem and take action.

Sources include: copy of the SOTI report can be downloaded at this link.

Healthcare provider Geisinger has reported a massive data breach affecting over a million patients, allegedly caused by a former employee of Microsoft subsidiary Nuance Communications. The incident, discovered in November 2023, occurred when a terminated Nuance worker reportedly accessed and copied sensitive patient records two days after being fired.

Geisinger claims Nuance failed to revoke the ex-employee’s access promptly. The breach potentially exposed personal and medical information, including birth dates, addresses, and hospital records, though financial data was reportedly not compromised.

This isn’t the first time Nuance has been linked to such an incident. In 2018, a similar breach affected San Francisco’s Department of Public Health.

The case raises concerns about Microsoft’s security practices, especially in light of recent high-profile breaches involving Chinese and Russian hackers accessing US officials’ email accounts through Microsoft systems.

Law enforcement has been involved, and the former employee is reportedly facing federal charges. Microsoft stated they are cooperating with authorities and supporting their customer.

This incident highlights the critical importance of robust offboarding procedures and access management in preventing data breaches.

Sources include: The Register

And because we all need some good news, we are pleased to report that Canada’s TELUS Canada’s communications giant, has been recognized as one of the World’s Most Sustainable Companies by TIME Magazine and Statista. In this inaugural list, TELUS ranked 21st out of 500 global companies, 2nd among Canadian companies, and 1st in the Canadian telecommunications sector.

This recognition highlights TELUS’ long-standing commitment to corporate citizenship, philanthropy, and environmental stewardship. The company has set ambitious targets, including becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and sourcing 100% renewable electricity by 2025.

So far, TELUS’ sustainability efforts have included planting 12.7 million trees since 2000, diverting 15 million devices from landfills, and issuing $4.6 billion in Sustainability-Linked Bonds. The company has also \ TELUS Environmental Solutions and is working on solutions to leverage technology to enhance sustainability in agriculture and healthcare.

Darren Entwistle, President and CEO of TELUS, emphasized the company’s dedication to social capitalism, stating, “Our team’s commitment to sustainability is foundational to our leadership in social capitalism.”

We like to think as a podcast that we call “balls and strikes” objectively when we shine a light on what companies do and mostly because of the way news works, on the mistakes they make.  But we should be able to say when we companies get it right and in that spirit we’d like to congratulate TELUS on this achievement and the recognition they received for the work they have done to win it.

Sources include: Press release from TELUS

And that’s our show for today.

Hashtag Trending goes to air 5 days a week with a daily news show, with a weekend interview show we call the Weekend Edition.

Show notes are at or .com  – either one works.

We love your comments.  Contact me at

I’m your host Jim Love, have a Fabulous Friday. A reminder that I’ll be off next week, but I’ll be back on July 8th





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