Rising Data Breaches in Hospitals

by Jim J
Figures in data breaches from hospitals continue to go up this year. Compared with 8% in 2008, compromises in data security have one up to a staggering 31%. Few of these problems are caused by hand made errors, instead, the reason for the rise in the breach of data security are the growing use of portable devices which include both laptops and handheld devices in the medical industry. With the plethora of devices and applications available nowadays, regulation is simply too slow to keep up with technology and update policies to control handling data the proper way. And last, more companies outsource work to third-parties which further complicate policies they follow in protecting user data.

Despite the higher data breaches in user data, I support access to a database of patient records in hospitals. The alternative of paper files and access to these files only while at the hospitals in my opinion is an outdated approach to hospital-patient relations. In time I believe, further regulations will be enacted that can help to decrease the security issues with patient data.

However, I believe that the control of data is to be kept within one hospital only, I am against the outsourcing of work to other companies; there is too much uncertainty in the policies other companies follow to merit relieving the primary hospital of maanging this data. Small hospitals that do not have the resources to implement their own system that manages patient data in my opinion are the only hospitals that merit being able to outsource work. In my opinion, if a hospital is to outsource the management of data, they are to completely outsource only to one company, and only if that company does not have the means to do so themselves. In time, our ability to secure the management of patient data will increase with further regulation and changes in the way hospitals outsource this type of work.


Messmer, Ellen. (2012, April 15). How to Buy a NAS. Retrieved April 15, 2012, from http://www.pcworld.com/article/253827/hospitals_seeing_more_patient_data_breaches.html#tk.hp_new