The migration from paper-based files to electronic health records (EHR) is well underway. According to industry sources, the number of hospitals that have adopted EHR systems has tripled in the past 3 years. Nearly all health providers have registered for the Federal government's "Meaningful Use" program - established per the 2009 HITECH Act - which provides monetary incentives based on the adoption, implementation rate, and security of electronic health records.
Yet Redspin reports that nearly 30 million Americans have had their personal health information breached or inadvertently disclosed since 2009. In 2013 alone, 199 incidents of breaches of PHI were reported to HHS impacting over 7 million patient records, a 138% increase over 2012.
"I think the 138% increase in patient records breached caught a lot of people by surprise," said
"IT security is a complex task," continues Berger. "Many HIPAA security risk assessments only graze the surface. It is essential that your scope be both broad and deep. The goal is not simply to complete a compliance checklist; it is about safeguarding PHI. That takes organization commitment and investment. Vigilance must be institutionalized."
In 2013, a single incident - the theft of four desktop computers from an office at
A copy of the full Redspin report can be downloaded here: http://www.redspin.com/resources/whitepapers-datasheets/Request-2013-Breach-Report-Protected-Health-Information-PHI-Redspin.php
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