Hospitals, healthcare services providers, health insurance companies, all those operating in the healthcare segment seem to be particularly vulnerable to data breaches. Their patients and employees’ private details seem to be a frequent target for theft and easy to lose. It seems like this entire industry segment has no idea how to keep their data safe or how to properly dispose of it.
To recent incidents highlight this serious security issue affecting healthcare players. The first incident occurred at Texas Health Partners and Texas Health Flower Mound Hospital. A laptop was stolen from an employee of Texas Health Partners and it happened to contain private details about hospital patients. While the information was not encrypted, the laptop was at least password protected. The stolen notebook contained various details on patients, including name, addresses, medical history and lab test information. The number of affected patients has not yet been disclosed.
A second incident reveals where the information stolen or lost by hospitals might end up. A year and a half after a computer disappeared from a chiropractor working at a private clinic, the laptop in question was found in a ditch. It contained medical records of thousands of patients, and all this data was not encrypted or password protected.
What can you do? Make sure you ask the hospitals and healthcare companies you work with about their data protection policies and practices. As not all hospitals are hit by data breaches, although it might seem that way given the large number and frequency of such incidents, some of them do know how to prevent the loss or theft of your confidential records.