As health data goes digital, security risks growMar 25th, 2010 | By Jamie Washington, RHIT | Category: EHR Security
Over the next four years, the amount of personal medical information online will increase exponentially, opening up new avenues for hackers to expose personal data that, unlike financial information, can result in a permanent violation of privacy.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has set a deadline of 2015 for healthcare facilities to being using electronic health records (EHRs), thereby ushering in the digitalization of all patient information. As patient data is aggregated on health networks, it becomes a bigger target for those who want to steal it and exploit it on the Internet, experts say.
According to research firm IDC, about a quarter of all Americans — 77 million people — already have an EHR,
up from 14% from in 2009. By 2015, IDC expects that figure to rise to 60%, spurred in large part by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. That measure, approved by Congress last year, included $19 billion in incentives for health care organizations to adopt EHRs.
Industry experts estimate that the amount of personal health data kept online measures in the terabytes — and will grow to petabytes of data over the next four years…. http://www.businessweek.com/idg/2010-03-22/as-health-data-goes-digital-security-risks-grow.html
With the HITECH Act pushing for all health records to be online, health information security is going to be an increasing concern. Imagine everyone's personal health data online and shared with the government. I don't get a warm fuzzy feeling…