Security & privacy in the era of digital health

Patients are now choosing healthcare providers who focus on protecting their information.
12:16 PM
Security of digital health records

In 2017, the cybersecurity world experienced a multitude of data breaches. And, unfortunately, the healthcare industry was a major target.  According to the Identity Theft Resource Center Data Breach Report 2017: 

  • Healthcare is the second biggest contributing industry to overall breaches in 2017 with 334 breaches
  • The third industry to expose most records was healthcare
  • The healthcare industry was hit hardest by hacking, skimming and phishing attacks

Patients are now choosing healthcare providers who focus on protecting their information

The significant increase in the use of electronic medical records and other healthcare technology has created a wealth of electronic information that is increasingly being targeted by cyber attackers. 

And now that we are living in a BYOD world, the reality of a breach is becoming more and more common. According to a study published by Crowd Research Partners, one in five companies have suffered a data breach involving mobile devices.

Accenture analysis predicts more than 25 million people — or approximately one in 13 — patients — will have their medical and/or personal information stolen from their healthcare provider’s digitized records between 2015 and 2019.

In many cases, patients are now choosing to leave the healthcare providers that have failed to protect their data, costing those providers significant revenue.

According to Accenture, “25 percent of patients impacted by healthcare provider data breaches between 2015 and 2019 — more than 6 million people — will subsequently become victims of medical identity theft. Sixteen percent of impacted patients—more than 4 million people—will be victimized and pay out-of-pocket costs totaling almost $56 billion over the next five years.” 

The research also finds that “almost half of patients said they would find a different provider if they were informed that their medical records were stolen.”

Considering the estimated economic value of a patient, that could cost providers in excess of $305 billion in cumulative lifetime patient revenue over the next five years.  Those numbers are daunting, and prove just how critical compliance and security are to the healthcare world.

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