Going online with health records comes with risks

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Going online with health records comes with risksMost see moving medical records online as a vital step in streamlining medical processes, eventually resulting in both cost and life savings. There’s just one hitch. When things go wrong online, the results can be staggering.

Take for example a recent case in California where it’s been discovered that the medical records of 300,000 individuals have been sitting on the Internet, unsecured for everyone to see. The spill was discovered by a researcher from Identity Finder through Internet searches, a common way to find unsecured private information. The company who managed the records failed to set up password protection or to instruct search engines not to index the pages.

In this case, security could have been drastically improved. However, even systems with good security can be hacked by someone willing enough. And in the case of health records, the consequences can be particularly bad due to the personal nature of the information.

In the US, federal law mandates will require all health records to go online by 2014. This comes with some significant risks which will need to be accounted for in the security of the systems, including who exactly can access them. Insurance policies for data breaches should also be in place to help minimise the damage in case robust security plans fail.

See the full story on Yahoo! News

Many of our policies include explicit virus and hacking liability cover, including those for medical professionals. To learn more, view our products.