Hospital breaches are almost a weekly occurrence. With the growing use of electronic records and people using personal mobile devices for work there is an increasing opportunity for data to be lost or stolen. Many healthcare facilities lack the support staff to monitor all available mobile devices being used for work related projects and the growing use of vendors and electronic data further degrades the monitoring cycle.
Some breaches are unintentional – however there is a growing passion for identify theft of medical data, which should make the healthcare industry start beefing up their security infrastructure.
If you think it won’t happen to you – read on:
- Great article on Huffington Post – Data Breaches Show Hospitals Not Ready For Shift To Electronic Records, Experts Say
- Data breach due to vendor sloppiness – read this article for more information
- TRICARE, SAIC Report Loss Of Data On 4.9 Million due to vendor
Why should I care?
Well first there is this “little thing” called HIPAA /HITECH – states that you MUST secure patient records! If you don’t you get lots of bad press (and on the internet it is the gift that keeps giving), huge multi-million dollar fines and lots of lawsuits.
- Becker’s Hospital Review – Report: Healthcare Data Breaches Could Cost $6.5B Annually
- Healthcare IT News – Healthcare breaches are up 32%
- $1 Billion lawsuit over data breach at Sutter Health – computer stolen
What can I do as a patient?
Talk to your healthcare practitioners – make sure they don’t seem sloppy with your data when you are there…if they are…they are most likely sloppy in their protection of information in the cyber security arena as well. Find a new healthcare practitioner!
- Google yourself often…sadly many patients find their data breach online when their information has been compromised.
Bottom line – as a patient or a healthcare practitioner – you must be diligent. This is not an issue you can passively monitor.