Over the past three years, about 21 million patients have had their medical records exposed in data security breaches that were big enough to require they be reported to the federal government... Six health care organizations listed on The Wall of Shame reported security breaches that involved one million or more records...The names of some of the breached companies are listed in the Computerworld article.
Theft made up 54% of the breaches, while hacking made up only 6% of the compromised data. Theft was followed by unauthorized access or disclosure for 20%, lost records and devices for 11%, improper disposal of records made up 5% and other/unknown categories made up 4%.
"By far ... theft is the number one type of breach we're seeing," Seeger said. "We've really seen this as a commentary on crime in America where the thieves are not after the information in the laptop, but they're after the laptop."
"Most of the portable devices are being stolen out of cars or otherwise being lost. Many of these laptops are lost by an employee while in transit on public transportation," Seeger added.
07 September 2012
Why it's hard to protect your Social Security number
I should think the most significant risk of insecure medical records is not that your colon polyps will be publicized, but that most medical records would include a Social Security number (and a current name and address). That's why reports like this are so disconcerting: