Since 2015 the number of data breaches in healthcare has steadily been rising. This includes medical offices, health plans, and business associates. These breaches range from unauthorized access, loss, theft, but mostly from hacking. Hacking was determined to be from emails, network servers, desktop computers, to electronic medical records. No office is immune. Starting with a system wide HIPAA risk analysis is the first step in protecting your data. Modern technology helps us in many ways, but it is ever so important to keep up with data security. Many medical offices think once their office is set up, they are set for life or at least “a while”. Technology is growing faster and faster, and you must be diligent to keep up. This is not a do-it-yourself job anymore!
Let’s look at some of the numbers from the data breaches over 500 patient records that were reported:
From January – July 2022 there have been 380 breaches reported.
In 2021 there are 457 still being investigated and 258 that have been archived, that is a total of 715 reported.
In 2020 there are 63 still being investigated and 601 that have been archived, totaling 663.
In 2019 there were 512 reported breaches.
In 2018 there were 368.
In 2017 there were 357.
In 2016 there were 329.
In 2015 there were 270.
I think it is important to note that the number of breaches are increasing each year. Now more than ever anyone involved in healthcare must approach HIPAA compliance and data security as necessary as having insurance to protect your organization. Instead of being reactive to “when” this happens, being proactive can help this “from” happening.
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