New Ponemon Study Reveals “Common-Cold Frequency” of Data Breaches
Article on December 05, 2012
Let's face it. Data breaches have passed the trend phase and have entrenched themselves into the fabric of everyday business. Data breaches in healthcare are now as common as the cold, requiring an ongoing approach to minimize their frequency, size, and impact.
The newly released Third Annual Benchmark Study on Patient Privacy & Data Security by Ponemon Institute reveals that 94 percent of healthcare organizations surveyed suffered at least one data breach during the past two years. What's more, 45 percent of organizations experienced more than five data breaches each during this same period.
Data breaches are expensive, costing the U.S. healthcare industry nearly $7 billion annually. For patients, the cost is more personal: Of the 52 percent of organizations that experienced medical identity theft, 39 percent say it resulted in inaccuracies in the patient's medical record and 26 percent say it affected the patient's medical treatment.
5 Keys to Protecting Your Organization
The Ponemon findings highlight the need for organizations to act now to secure protected health information (PHI) and protect patient privacy. The common occurrence of security incidents requires an ongoing approach to minimize their frequency, size, and impact. We recommend that healthcare organizations:
Perhaps the most disturbing statistic is that 54 percent of organizations have little or no confidence that they can detect all patient data loss or theft. Patient information is at risk, yet healthcare organizations continue to follow the same processes. For the trend to shift, organizations need to commit to this problem and make significant changes. These five steps are a good beginning.