Data breach of 480 patients notified by Southwest General

January 12th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

Binder went missing from Southwest General Health Center of Ohio which includes information as patient names, dates of birth, medical record numbers, and clinic information related to childbirth. No financial information or Social Security numbers was present. About 480 patients were notified about the incident.

The hospital has not received any information about misuse of the missing binder. They have released a statement about it plans to prevent future incidents. The binder was used in an obstetric quality study being conducted by the hospital and the Ohio Department of Health, Office of Vital Statistics, and the Ohio Hospital Association.

Southwest General has existing policies and procedures to protect its patients’ health information. They are taking due care to maintain privacy and security of its patients and have implemented more procedures to prevent similar incidents. It is not clear whether hospital has notified law agencies or not.

Around 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other equipment. With the critical information at stake, many companies also use encrypted laptops/computers for storing records which is also stored in binder. With the misplaced or stolen laptops same as binder can cause serious security concerns. To secure binder or computers related stringent procedures should be followed.

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Unencrypted laptops present a major risk of data loss. 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other equipment. About 50% of network intrusions are performed with credentials gathered from lost or stolen devices. The penalties for a data breach are severe not only in terms of the monetary fines imposed on the organization, but also the potential loss of trust from customers and suppliers. Encryption software greatly enhances the security of your organization’s data as the information is not compromised if a laptop is lost or stolen.

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