There's no denying the fact that healthcare data breaches are on the rise, and are posing to be a great threat for healthcare providers. Not only the personal information related to patient health is being exposed, but financial data is also at risk. However, industry experts are of the view that this is just the beginning, and critical steps should be implemented as we move forward in the digitization age.
The ramifications of patient data loss can range from financial to medical. Not only the medical records usually contain payment, billing and coding information, but your credit card information is also exposed. But, they also often contain sensitive data like Social Security Numbers and information that could enable a fraudster to obtain medical services under the victim's identity. If the perpetrator's medical information mixes with the victim's, she/he could receive medication to which the person is allergic, or the record may contain the incorrect blood type.
Healthcare patient data breaches are on the rise
In a recent TED Talk on cybercrime, one of the keynote speakers, Caleb Barlow commented that in 2016 alone 100 million individuals lost their healthcare data to hackers. In spite of the growing urgency of ransom ware assaults on the healthcare industry, government financing to counteract cyber security dangers is only in mere thousands, while the cost of these data losses is evaluated to be in the millions. As of late, a breach that happened after a server of the Florida Medical Clinic was hacked left patient data available to thieves for over 12 days. While the individual data accessible in healthcare records remains so lucrative for culprits, it's up to healthcare providers to remain watchful or vigilant in the battle against patient data losses.
What is the reason patient data breaches?
The recurrence and size of patient data loss keeps on growing due to internal negligence and outer cyber threats. Internally, anything from a simple oversight made by a doctor or in-house billing staff, while entering a password to a technological issue regarding network servers could lead to the irrevocable loss of a patient's healthcare records.
In spite of the fact that this type of high level breach exists inside the healthcare facility itself, it's most of the times, the several high profile incidents of cyber criminals exploiting the weaknesses of the healthcare industry that makes the news.
To be honest, there's more in question than simply patient data loss. At times, cyber attackers have even botched up patient data in the hospital on purpose, so that person does not get the required treatment. All of a sudden, what was seen as an online danger, now has genuine outcomes, not just pertaining with your medical billing and financial information, but with your health as well.
What steps should be taken to end patient data breaches?
In spite of the growing threat of patient data losses, there are a few steps healthcare providers and patients can take to reduce their risks.