Criminal Use of Patient Information



No matter the size of your operation, if you have other people’s personal records, you are a target for information theft.  If you are a rural doctor or small hospital administrator you may think that your patient records are locked up safe.  Only a few people have access to your computers so everyone is safe, right? Wrong.  Alarming trends of criminal use of patient information show an increased need for tighter IT security measures.  Here are some of the numbers when it comes to criminal use of patent information.

Who’s Targeted?

It might be surmised that the only use for patient information would be in large volumes at urban hospitals or in wealthy areas at high-end clinics.  Both of those assumptions would be incorrect. The fact of the matter is that everyone’s information is of value.  Any hospital or clinic of any size is a target.  In fact, a rural or smaller location may be even more susceptible, because at smaller venues the IT security measures might be more lax.

Patient Stats: You might think that little Jimmy’s dental records are not that valuable.  But it’s not his teeth these criminals are after.  Patient statistics like name, address, Social Security number and birthdate allow criminals to create fake identities.  Then of course there is Jimmy’s mom and dad’s bank account information.  This is where things can get dicey.  The value of these records to criminals is epic.  You might think that you only have a couple thousand patients records in your database.  But this chart shows that even 1,000 records would be worth $50,000.  The numbers go up from there.  If your organization has been in existence for many years and computerized your information a number of years ago, do the math.  A 100,000 patients in your data files represent millions of dollars in potential criminal mischief.

Trends: The way that these IT crimes have been trending, is that they are being done off-site and remotely.  All that the criminals need to do is find a leak in your database and they can literally have access to everything you do.  With criminals getting less confrontational and more sneaky you can bet that IT security is going to continue to be a source of scrutiny.

IT Security is Your Friend: As a doctor or hospital administrator you might not have a lot of IT security experience.  As you work harder to keep your patient information safe, criminals will work harder to get access to what you have.  So you need a partner on your side who can help you battle the criminals that are after your information.  Netgain offers amazing healthcare IT security, and we can be your first line of defense against these rogue criminals.  You need to have a plan. Your patients deserve the security that their information won’t be compromised.  “Primum non nocere” reminds us that we must “first, do no harm.”  Your IT security platform needs to follow the same trajectory.

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