In this article on Healthdata Management, we learn that a “River Falls (Wis.) Medical Clinic has notified approximately 2,400 patients of a breach of their information after an employee of a cleaning service stole paper medical records from shredding bins, the River Falls Journal newspaper reports.”
Information in the paper records included name, date of birth, diagnostic codes, insurance information, patient account and medical chart numbers, and some Social Security numbers, according to the report in the newspaper.
Aside from the location, any of us could have been the name on those stolen patient records. I suspect that these types of events are more common than we think when you include stolen laptops, USB drives full of data that walk out of the building, and even hard drives tossed in the trash that are rebuilt and recovered. The number of ways that data can be compromised in the traditional world of IT are too numerous to mention here.
The notion that moving information to cloud-based systems also means becoming less secure is typically not the case. Indeed, if you leverage the right security models and security technology, in the majority of the cases, that information will be more secure on most cloud computing providers.
Of course, there are no truly secure environments, and cloud-based platforms are no exception. However, for most businesses, including the doctor’s office that hired the wrong cleaning crew, the use of cloud-based systems is a huge step forward.