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Hospitals Experience Increased Data Breaches & Cost; Four Recommendations to Mitigate the Risks

by Greg Marcum, JD, PE on December 20th, 2012

Hospitals and healthcare facilities have benefited from innovative information technologies that have provided greater efficiencies and access to patient information.  However, a recent survey of eighty healthcare organizations found they have experienced increased data breaches and rising associated costs.   The survey’s methods involved extrapolation of their results to the broader population of hospitals and healthcare facilities in the U.S. which may or may not result in an accurate depiction of the nationwide reality.  However, taken at face value the survey reveals growing threats related to patients’ use of their own mobile devices to capture and transmit their health data, patient identity theft and wider use of cloud data storage services, despite administrators’ stated concerns about data security in the “cloud.”

A data security firm that helped facilitate the survey made four recommendations to help mitigate the data security risks.  First, modify daily business practices to incorporate data security processes.  Second, restructure the function that reports on data security and patient privacy to have direct reporting to the board of directors, thus increasing the visibility and accountability of the responsibility for security.  Third, update policies and procedures to include mobile devices and cloud data services within the hospital’s data security operations and breach response.  Fourth, take into account the data sharing that goes on with business associates and other organizations that access patient data.

More information is available at:   http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/healthcare-information-technology/4-recommendations-to-fight-rising-prevalence-cost-of-hospital-data-breaches.html

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From → Health Law