• New report from Forescout says 71% of medical industry PCs will still be running Win7 in January

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    Interesting report from the people at Forescout: Within our data sample… 71% of devices will be running unsupported Windows operating systems by Jan
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    • #1655290

      From my recent experience I would say its 100%. I had a medical checkup a week ago and my wife one a few days later. Both facilities were using computers to manage patient records and accounts. Three months ago we both had dentist appointments and observed the same use of computers.

      All of them were using Windows 7. Nuf Sed!

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1656290

      It’s best to assume that your medical records aren’t going to follow you. Get copies of your records from all medical providers and keep your home files up to date. Each time you visit, request the record of your visit. This documentation may be your only documentation.

      On permanent hiatus {with backup and coffee}
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    • #1656671

      There are good reasons for this (I’m with IT at a medical center)…

      1) Our IT support is overwhelmed with the conversion details. For example, it’s not just testing on one program at a time, today’s medical software is inter-related. For example, a PACS image system will get Registration information from the RiS system (so the Tech won’t do manual entry). Then the image and order are married, and sent out both via HL7 and PDF to the Medical Record system (as well as the Electronic Documentation backup system). All of these need to work after upgrading to W10 compliant software on W10 devices. And that’s just one system…we have over 500 servers with different systems from different vendors!!!

      2) Our hospital is going with upgrade, not re-imaging, since we’re looking at close to 9,000 pc’s (in order not to have to save the local data somewhere else, then copy the data back. That’s not going well, driver incompatibility is a big problem with upgrades (not my recommendation, btw).

      3) Medical devices are probably going to run W7 embedded for a LONG time, since the FDA is notorious for being slow to approve changes to a medical device. Many devices would need to be replaced to go to W10 embedded, which gets REALLY expensive (your average portable ultrasound can go from $75k to $150k, for example…we have tons of those!)

      4) Testing Windows updates for 10 is horrendous, with all the different software packages and the rapidity that W10 changes. Yes, I know LTSB would be the solution, but there are problems with that as well, I was told

      I do agree, talk to your Doc to make sure that your data is being backed up, which they should be doing anyway (because of ransomware).  Thank goodness we have some Linux systems, which are much easier to maintain (for example, Linux servers can update while in production…our Windows updates require downtime while the servers are being rebooted. Users HATE that!!!)



    • #1657988

      Most of medic computers I had seen were still W7 but I have seen W10 on my dentist office’s computer.  From what the registration person told me, she does not like it, nor does she recommend it at all especially for clinic work.  It was more annoying to work with for her, especially with the updates and the down time.

      • #1659781

        I would not trust that dentist if that office was using any consumer version of Windows 10 but that office has to be using some Enterprise/Business-LTSB variant of Windows/Windows 10 if it wants to be complient with the HIPAA/Medical privacy requlations.

        Any cosnumer Windows variant that I notice in a medical professional’s office and I’m really not going to trust that as far a my medical privacy is concerned!

        “It was more annoying to work with for her, especially with the updates and the down time.”

        Not on the windows 10 enterprise versions/variants that any medical office should be using because of the HIPAA/Medical privacy requlations and maybe they are using the non enterprise version. Any Medical office should be using or having its own IT department(Large medical concerns) or be contracted with some IT professional/contractor-service(For smaller Medical Offices). And “registration person” does not sound like an IT professional with a medical records IT-Management background. HIPAA/Medical privacy requlations are strict and that’s better remanded over to some Professional IP contractor/company that specilizes in Medical Records management and is vetted/certified for that sort of IT/Medical Office related records management systems work.

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    • #1659451

      Wow that is a surprise that they do not mentioned that many are still using Windows XP.

      Last week saw that Xray machine was running with Windows XP. About a month ago, doctor mentioned that he likes Windows XP since does not get updates that slow down computer.

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      • #1706532

        Odds are, that Doc has an Xray machine with XP Embedded (the XRay may stilll be supported by the Vendor, who should have an extended support contract with Microsoft for XP Embedded .

        You can’t just upgrade or replace an XP with W7/W10 on many devices, they would need a total replacement (the vendor would have to re-certify the device to the FDA, very expensive, and W7/XP may not have hardware drivers for internal hardware in the XRay).

    • #1660077

      My own doctor still uses XP for the patient’s records. It is totally separate from the Web. For that he has a different machine. Not sure which operating system. Communications between him, or the secretaries at his office, and his patients are all on paper, via USPS, or by telephone, depending.

      Medical information is highly sensitive, particularly with physicians being so concerned about malpractice lawsuits and their patients not likely to take kindly to theirs being shown to the world without permission, let alone for nefarious purposes.

      Ex-Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7); since mid-2017 using also macOS. Presently on Monterey 12.15 & sometimes running also Linux (Mint).

      MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
      Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
      macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV

    • #1665452

      Great…  Another driving force added to the accelerating health care costs in the USA: Microsoft’s push of Windows 10 with all its “updating goodness” and “superb user experience”. /s

      You can rest assured that medical organizations will be passing on the expenses their IT departments will incur. I’d be willing to bet these expenses will prove much higher than those incurred when organizations upgraded from XP to Win 7.

      Win10 Pro x64 22H2, Win10 Home 22H2, Linux Mint + a cat with 'tortitude'.

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    • #1681723

      I had a tax audit a couple of months ago, the IRS agent was using Windows 7. I wouldn’t expect the IRS to upgrade until the last minute but do wonder if they’ll even be able to, much like the medical industry.

      Years ago I worked at a doctor’s office doing data entry on a Windows 2000 PC. The very expensive software might have worked on Windows 7, but I seriously doubt it would work on 10. Being a solo practice there were only 2 computers, moving to Windows 10 LTSB would seem unlikely. As Steve S. said above  the expenses of upgrading will be high, costs being passed on to insurance companies will drive up prices for everyone. It won’t be pretty.

      • #1684845

        I would expect that the IRS would purchase extended Windows 7 security updates until 2023 for their client computing systems (PCs/Laptops) and the IRS servers and mainframes are even older than most.

        But IRS PCs/Laptops, if they are using Windows, are probably under some federal systems contract with Microsoft so that’s millions of dollars and even some IRS systems that may be using XP are still geting support under that contract.

        See those emterprise/volume license customers get what they demand from Microsoft as that’s in the contract and the contract is large (Hundreds of millions) enough for Microsoft to have special teams assigned to any Federal systems contracts.

        I’ll even bet there are some Nice examples of mainframes from both IBM and Unisys (Formally Sperry and Burroughs mainframe computer companies that merged) that would be candidates for a museum if they where not sill busy running some batch processing workloads for the IRS, and COBOL is still utilized widely by the IRS/Other Government agencies.

        (I’m still to this very day partial to the Burroughs Stack Machine Architecture and have often wondered if any of the modern microprocessors would have had so many hadrware security issues(side channel/etc.) if they had adopted that kind of stack machine architecture that could actually directly run lightly parsed high level computing languages.)

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    • #1682440

      Don’t want my doc using windows 10 or really any windows system. I’d rather he keeps handwriting my records. Then i only have to worry about a thief breaking into his physical office and stealing my data but at that point he wont want records he’ll want drugs or equipment.

      • #1694954

        Even if your doc keeps handwriting your records, insurance claims are submitted via computer, not every single detail of a visit but the medical diagnosis and procedure codes are required for the doc to get reimbursed. Even if they could submit claims on paper, the insurance company knows everything and that’s definitely stored on computer, no telling what OS they use. You’d have to pay cash to avoid the virtual paper trail.


        • #1706613

          IMO, you’ll see a lot of practices switching to “the cloud” for this very reason. There are problems with that as well, but the advantage is that the cloud service takes on the security aspects, and all you need is a compliant, up to date browser with the correct security protocols (SSL certs), and  high quality, secure VPN connections.

          Again, that’s not much better (there are plenty of examples of information on the cloud being leaked), but easier on the practice involved, since you don’t need a lot of IT support for Chromebooks or Macs this way. And the cloud company is more likely to get sued if there’s a security breech.

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