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Quick Highlight: Data Protection, Part Two

October 13, 2011

Yesterday, I published “Quick Highlight: Data Protection,” which discussed data breeches at large health organizations. If you thought problems keeping patient data safe were limited to large organizations like insurers or hospitals, though, you were wrong. Today, ZDNet.com published this blog entry, “If your medical information is lost or stolen from your doctor, don’t expect to hear about it,” which explains that doctor’s offices are pretty miserable at reporting data losses, too.

I like ZD’s practice of putting a simple summary at the top of every post. This one sums up the post pretty well [the italics are mine, and are used to show article quotes]:

“Summary: Only 17% of medical practices are likely to report an incident of medical identity theft.”  

The post was written by Denise Amrich (@deniseamrich at Twitter).  Notably, Denise has the most interesting bio footer of any author I’ve highlighted in todaysnote so far:

“Denise Amrich is a Registered Nurse, the health care advisor for the U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute, and a mentor for the Virtual Campus at Florida’s Brevard Community College. Nothing in this article is meant to be a substitute for medical advice, and shouldn’t be considered as such. If you are in need of medical help, please see your doctor.”

That disclaimer is so good, I’ll adopt it, too, for readers of this blog post (if there are any of you). The ZDNet.com post is worth a quick look, if only so you will be appropriately appalled about how poorly the typical doctor’s office seems to live up to its HIPAA reporting obligations.

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