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Technology committee established in wake of cyberattack

By David Lynch - 04th Nov 2022

Technology committee

A new technology and transformation committee has been established within the HSE following the cyberattack on the health service last year, the Medical Independent has been told. The new group was discussed at the June meeting of the HSE’s performance and delivery committee. 

The technology and transformation committee was established following a decision of the HSE board at the end of June. 

“The new committee will provide board level oversight of the post incident review implementation programme, together with oversight of key strategic transformation programmes,” according to a HSE spokesperson. 

“Prior to the establishment of a new committee, this oversight was provided by the board’s performance and delivery committee.” 

The new technology committee held an initial meeting in early August. Asked whether the committee will include patient and service user representation, the HSE spokesperson said that membership “is currently being expanded to include external membership… finalisation of external members remains ongoing”. 

In May 2021, there was a major cyberattack against the HSE’s IT systems through the infiltration of these systems using ransomware. As a result, all HSE IT systems were shut down. 

“Given the seriousness of this attack, the board of the HSE in conjunction with the CEO… decided to commission an independent post incident review [PIR] into the circumstances surrounding this infiltration of the HSE’s IT systems. The final PIR report was accepted by the HSE board in November 2021 and subsequently published.” 

One of the recommendations of this report was to “establish a board subcommittee (or repurpose an existing one) to oversee the transformation of IT and cybersecurity to deliver a future-fit, resilient technology-base for provision of a digitally-enabled health service”.

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