Healthcare Data Breaches and Patients

March 23rd, 2015 by admin Leave a reply »

Healthcare breaches affect hospitals and patients alike, says survey by TransUnion. The organization can face huge penalties from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) due to data breach. The lost personal information takes time to recover and leads to loss of trust.

According to the recent survey, healthcare data breaches can also push patients away from the affected organization. TransUnion conducted an online survey of around 1200 US adults who received medical care.

“The hours and days immediately following a data breach are crucial for consumers’ perceptions of a healthcare provider,” TransUnion Healthcare President Gerry McCarthy said in a statement. “With the right tools, hospitals and providers can quickly notify consumers of a breach, and change consumer sentiments toward their brand.”

According to the survey-

  • Sixty-five percent of surveyed adults said that they would avoid providers that experience a healthcare data breach
  • Forty-six percent of those surveyed said they expect a notification within one day of the breach
  • Thirty-one percent said that they expect to receive a response or notification within one to three days
  • Seventy-three percent of patients ages 18 to 34 said they were likely to switch healthcare providers after a data breach

“Older consumers may have long-standing loyalties to their current doctors, making them less likely to seek a new health care provider following a data breach,” McCarthy said. “However, younger patients are far more likely to at least consider moving to a new provider if there is a data breach. With more than 80 million millennials recently entering the healthcare market, providers that are not armed with the proper tools to protect and recover from data breaches run the risk of losing potentially long-term customers.”

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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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