By Lisa A. Eramo
Patients want to protect their health data. Can you blame them? Health data breaches occur all the time due to laptop theft, unauthorized access, or loss of devices that store personal health information. As organizations have expanded their use of health information technology, these breaches have continued to increase. Health information management professionals play an important role in the protection of patient data in an era where they are increasingly asked to package electronic data for use in public health reporting.
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to post on its Website a list of all breaches of unsecured protected health information that affect 500 or more individuals. This list, which has grown steadily over the past few years, now includes nearly 1,000 breaches affecting more than 700,000 patients, according to Melamedia, LLC. Some experts have appropriately dubbed this list HHS’ “wall of shame.” … [Read More]