When Will The Healthcare Industry Get Their Data Act Sorted Out?

medical data breaches

The healthcare industry has suffered massive breaches in both the U.K. and the U.S.; and it’s a growing problem.

Data breaches are happening all the time both here and across the pond in the U.S. In this story (which is based on figures from the U.S. but can be reflective of the U.K. too) the Breach Barometer found that nearly 1.5 million patient records were leaked in March of 2017.

The number of incidents in March reportedly rose by 2.5 times in comparison to January and February combined, with the largest incident involving nearly 700,000 patient records.

You would think the healthcare industry would be better at keeping patient records safe given the sensitive nature of them. In total, there were 39 incidents reported in March 2017 according to the report, with 33 of these incidents reported by healthcare organisations; four of them by health plans; one by a business associate/third party; and one was unfortunately reported by the media first.

Security breaches can happen for a number of reasons, but the Breach Barometer found that a whopping 44% of breaches in March were caused by internal threats. 17 incidents in total were reported, with 10 of those caused by internal error, and another seven being the result of insider wrongdoing.

In total, the number of records caused by internal factors was 180,000, which is an outstanding number of records to be breached because of “insider threat”.

Most worrying threat is hackers…

The most worrying security breach for healthcare organisations is often hackers – i.e. the criminals. 11 out of 39 incidents in the U.S. were reportedly the direct result of hackers acquiring patient records. Disturbingly, 600,000 patient records fell into the hands of hackers in March 2017.

The Barometer doesn’t specify what information was breached but we have no doubt in our minds that someone’s medical records often contain extremely sensitive information that nobody will want leaked on the dark web.

The largest number of records breached was reported to be up to 700,000 patient records. These records were branded as “theft-other” meaning they could have been lost or stolen.

We fully understand the distress and upset for anyone having personal information leaked, and having sensitive medical data breached can be on another level. No one wants the whole world to potentially know about their medical history…

Although we cannot turn back the clock to stop this from happening, we can help those who have been in similar situations. Our Data Breach Lawyers specialise in fighting for compensation from organisations and industries responsible for breaching the Data Protection Act and similar privacy legislation.

If you have been the victim of a data breach and would like to seek compensation, get in contact with us today and we’ll see if we can help you.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

Request a Callback from our team!

Fill out our quick call back form below and we’ll contact you when you’re ready to talk to us.
All fields marked * are required.

Your privacy is extremely important to us. Information on how we handle your data is in our Privacy Policy.
You have the right to object to the processing of your personal data.