Security and Privacy are often treated as one and the same, however they are very different. Whereas privacy refers to policies, user identification, access controls and systems design, security refers to firewalls, password management, physical protection of the data etc.
Recently, the health records of 83,000 individuals were lost in Ontario as a result of the loss of a USB key. A micro-SD card smaller than one's thumbnail can store 4GB of information and as solid state hard drives become more popular, we are sure to see the storage capacity of these devices surge. Huge amounts of personal information can be stored on tiny media that are easy to lose or misplace.
Bottom line - make sure that you are extremely careful where and how you store personal patient information. Thinking this through beforehand can avoid dangerous and costly errors at a later date. This is a good lesson for anyone who works with digital patient information.
Health records of 83,000 lost in Ontario OSHAWA, Ont. – Ontario’s privacy commissioner has launched an investigation after a USB drive containing the personal health information of more than 83,000 people, who went to flu clinics in Durham Region just northeast of Toronto, went missing. The USB key contained the personal information of persons who attended a Durham Region Health Department flu vaccination clinic for either an H1N1 or seasonal flu shot between Oct. 23 and Dec. 15. Commission spokesman Bob Spence said the probe will try to determine what happened and what steps might be taken to prevent a similar incident from occurring. A health department nurse was taking a USB key containing the records to her car in Whitby, Ont., for use at a remote clinic site on Dec. 15 when the device was lost. A search failed to turn it up. “We believe it was lost on regional property. We have some video surveillance tape to indicate that was the case,” said Dr. Robert Kyle, chief medical officer of health for Durham Region. Read full article: Canadian Healthcare Technology
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