Published on March 3, 2014
Security blunder sees PHI leaked online © CureMD Healthcare
Protected Health Information • Protected Health Information (PHI) of 33,000 individuals was inadvertently leaked online on search engine Google due to a security flaw • Patients of Cottage Health System in Santa Barbara, California were informed by the three-hospital system that their information could have been available online for nearly two months
Security Lapse • The lapse occurred after one of their vendors removed security protections for a service without informing the hospital • It caused a file containing PHI on the server to be left unprotected and searchable on Google • The file contained patient names, dates of birth, diagnoses, lab results/procedures, medical record numbers, account numbers and addresses • The CHS maintained that it did not contain any financial data and had requested Google to take the file down
Security Lapse • Security lapses leading to PHI being leaked online are not new • In July 2013, the OCR (HHS department investigating HIPAA violations) penalized WellPoint $1.7 million after it made PHI of over 600,000 individuals available online • It contained patient names, dates of birth, SSN, telephone numbers and health information • It was found WellPoint had no measures in place limiting personnel access to PHI and had not evaluated their system after an upgrade
Security Lapse • Since 2009, 27 million individuals have had their PHI compromised due to various reasons as per HIPAA privacy and security breach rules • It is important for healthcare organizations to keep a continuous check on the security methods in place in order to ensure protection of PHI
Read more on blog.curemd.com • To read more on this topic, visit: • http://blog.curemd.com/security-blunder-sees-phileaked-online/
Listen to this. Protected Health Information (PHI) of 33,000 individuals was inadvertently leaked online on search engine Google due to a security flaw.
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