Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How healthcare data disappears

recently reviewed a slide show about health data theft at Health Care IT News (view it here).  These were all major losses of client or patient medical data affecting thousands of lives; and they all landed the companies on the HHS published list of breaches -- not a ranking you want to appear on.

Interestingly, ALL of the breaches involved hardware theft; nine of the top ten were thefts of laptops or EMR devices (e.g., tablets); the other was the theft of a hard drive.  Let that sink in for a minute:  not one of the top ten involved hackers, firewalls, stolen passwords, or electronic data theft.

I'm not suggesting you not worry about hackers, firewalls, et al.

But protecting hardware from theft may have become the first line of defense against health information loss.

NEXT TIME:  Protecting portable hardware (and their data).