Critical Insights into the Healthcare Sector’s State of Digital Transformation and Cybersecurity Preparedness

Imprivata survey at DMEA 2024 conference reveals progress in identity management and challenges of KHZG and NIS2 Directive preparedness.

A recent survey of 227 healthcare professionals conducted by Imprivata at DMEA 2024 has shed light on the current state of digitalization in healthcare, revealing both progress and areas needing attention, particularly in digital identity management and NIS2 cybersecurity preparedness.

Cybersecurity and NIS2 Preparedness: Room for Improvement

With the NIS2 Directive set to take effect in October 2024, the survey results indicate a pressing need for enhanced cybersecurity measures within healthcare:

  • Nearly 39% of respondents admitted to having never heard of the NIS2 Directive
  • 31% acknowledged that their organizations need to adapt their IT security measures to comply with the upcoming requirements.
  • Only 31% of healthcare organizations feel well-prepared for the NIS2 Directive, in terms of cybersecurity and resilience.

This lack of awareness and preparedness highlights a critical gap that needs to be addressed to protect sensitive health data and infrastructure from cyber threats.

Hospital Digitization: Slow and Steady

Despite the forward march of technology, the impact of digitization under the Hospital Future Act (KHZG) has yet to be significantly felt across healthcare institutions:

  • 72.7% of respondents reported no noticeable changes in their work environment.
  • Other reported some improvements in the following areas:
    • 5% reported having more time for patient care.
    • 12% reported increased efficiency.
    • 10% reported more simplified IT management.

This suggests that many digitization projects are still in the implementation phase, with hopes high for future benefits. Still, it indicates progress that some healthcare organizations are beginning to experience improvements from KHZG. Looking ahead, this research shows that healthcare professionals should remain optimistic, expecting that the completion of these projects will eventually enhance the quality of patient care and streamline operations as some hospitals are already seeing.

Digital Identity Management: A Work in Progress

The survey also highlighted the evolving landscape of digital identity management within healthcare organizations:

  • 57% of respondents described their digital identity management systems as moderately mature, indicating the presence of basic solutions, these systems often lack either flexible integration options or centralized management.
  • Only 19% of organizations reported having a very mature system, a decrease from the previous year, suggesting a rising standard for what constitutes maturity in this area.
  • Nearly 22% said their digital identity management was less mature and needed more attention.

This shift underscores a growing recognition of the importance of sophisticated digital identity management frameworks. It also reveals a potential correlation between cybersecurity preparedness, specifically around NIS2, and identity maturity. The 19% of respondents who reported having a highly mature digital identity management strategy, characterized by centralized management and flexible integration capabilities, likely positions them well for NIS2 compliance. In contrast, organizations with less developed identity management systems might face challenges in meeting NIS2 requirements. This is reflected in the data, as 57% of respondents describing their systems as moderately mature and 22% as less mature.

These findings suggest that the level of digital identity management maturity could play a crucial role in an organization's preparedness for the upcoming NIS2 Directive.

Survey Conclusion

The findings from the DMEA 2024 survey by Imprivata paint a picture of a sector that is gradually adapting to digital transformation but still faces significant challenges in digital identity management and cybersecurity. As healthcare continues to evolve, the focus must not only be on implementing new technologies but also on enhancing the security and efficiency of these systems to meet current and future demands. The journey of digital transformation in healthcare is ongoing, and while progress is evident, there remains much work to be done.


The survey conducted at DMEA 2024 included a total of 227 healthcare professionals, ensuring a comprehensive perspective from various roles within the sector. The majority of respondents, 62.11%, were from IT departments, followed by 17.18% in administration, 15.42% in patient care, and 5.29% in executive management. Notably, there were no participants from outside the healthcare sector. This demographic distribution highlights a strong representation from technical and administrative professionals, providing valuable insights into the digital transformation challenges and advancements in healthcare.

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