Breaches Show Health Data Is Not Safe, Experts Say

Electronic health records were supposed to make life better for patients and doctors. But those benefits could be for naught if digital medical data aren't safe-and they don't appear to be.

Electronic health records were supposed to make life better for patients and doctors—getting rid of bulky and messy paper files, streamlining delivery of care and organizing medical information so that scientists can use it to make discoveries.

But those benefits could be for naught if digital medical data aren't safe—and they don't appear to be. A new analysis of government records, published Tuesday in the journal JAMA, found that close to a thousand large data breaches affected 29 million medical records between 2010 and 2013.

Nearly 60% were the result of theft, reported study coauthors Vincent Liu, MD, of the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, and Mark A. Musen, MD, PhD, ScB, and Timothy Chou, of Stanford University.

Read more at the LA Times: http://lat.ms/1JKpZRy