How secure is our personal healthcare information?

Forty-seven percent of IT security professionals believe their personal healthcare information is less secure than it was 12 months ago according to a survey by nCircle.

The online survey of 257 security professionals was conducted between February 4 and March 12, 2010, and covered a range of security topics including smartphones, healthcare, cloud computing and social media.

“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is expected to intensify the already huge push for electronic health records, and many IT professionals and consumers feel their personal health information is less secure than ever,” says Alex Quilter, healthcare security strategist with nCircle. “The healthcare industry’s focus on patient care is imperative, but should not come at the expense of patient privacy.”

Quilter notes that the complex network of healthcare organizations’ business partners – such as EHR vendors, insurers, and others – requires access to patient data by multiple participants in the healthcare supply chain. He recommends that healthcare organizations establish security policies for those business partners that access patient data and audit those partners regularly.

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