Worst Data Breaches in Healthcare

If you are in the medical field, you understand that there are laws in place to protect your client’s information. After a data breach occurs, it is difficult to recuperate patient trust, and if a lawsuit is filed against your medical business, the financial losses can be devastating. Just the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) alone allows for fines of up to $250,000 for each violation. Are your medical records secure, stored properly, and do you have the security measures in place in case of a data breach? Below are stories that will make you re-think just how safe your medical records are.

Stanford Hospital Sued for $20 Million

After a trip to the Emergency room at Stanford Hospital, Shana Springer discovered that her confidential information had been posted on Stanford’s website, and she filed a class action lawsuit for $20 million dollars that resulted in a settlement. The San Jose Mercury News reports, “Stanford Hospital & Clinics and two of its vendors are set to pay more than $4.1 million to settle a class action claim that they violated a state privacy law by allowing the medical information of approximately 20,000 emergency room patients to be posted online for nearly a year.”

Data “Goes Missing” At Prominent Healthcare Facility

“10 backup discs containing information on surgical patients treated between September 1990 and April 2007 are missing from a storage location at Emory University Hospital.” Contained in the disks were information including patient names, past diagnoses, payment records, and the Social Security numbers of its patients. Allowing confidential files to be stored onsite allows for major security breaches. Were these disks properly stored at a data or professional storage center, this never would have happened. Now, thousands of patients are at risk for identity theft, creating a strained relationship between the health care facility and the community it serves.

Blue Shield Releases the Social Security Numbers of 18K Doctors

In California, during a monthly filing to the Department of Managed Health Care, Blue Shield released the confidential information of 18,000 doctors. Information included their employee addresses, names, phone numbers and Social Security information. These records have been made public, and now thousands of doctors have had their security compromised.

Children’s Hospital Emails Confidential Information of 14K Patients

NBC reports that an employee at San Diego’s Rady Children’s Hospital emailed an attachment to “potential job applicants for an internal evaluation. But instead of sending approved information, a collection of real patient data was released to six applicants.” Confidential information that was released included names of patients, dates of birth, and primary diagnoses. In all of these cases, data breaches were completely avoidable, but because of improperly storing files and employee negligence, the confidential information of thousands of patients and doctors were compromised. The risks of storing data or paper records onsite as a medical institution are huge, and as we’ve learned, can result in major fines. Avoid the risk of data breaches by implementing a data storage policy and storing paper records offsite with the reliable and secure services of Corodata. Avoid the risk of data breaches by implementing offsite records management, with the reliable and secure services of Corodata. Corodata has never undergone a data breach, and is the leader in record file management, indexing services, active record storage, and data destruction.