Perhaps this is a ‘pointer to the future’ that we don’t want to see. On Monday 27 Sept, the giant New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center revealed that 6,800 patients in the intensive care unit over the past two year had fragments of records made accessible to internet search engines. How discovered? In July, a person found their relative’s records online. Included were 10 Social Security numbers. While quickly shut down, exactly how this happened was not revealed in the article (a spokesperson for the hospital said it was a mistake), but read down into the comments from ‘KP’ who claims to be a HIT systems administrator, stating that secure systems in hospitals are little more than a joke due to their connectivity to other systems (hackable) and staff routinely saving ‘cut and paste’ sections of data on local computers or emailing (even less security).
Is the pressure to implement EHRs, tablets and mobile phone connectivity throwing high-octane gasoline on a smoldering fire of data vulnerability? And why wasn’t this front page news versus being buried in The New York Times NY Local section? Where is it on Healthcare IT News? (Instead there’s a glowing piece on NY Presbyterian’s ace surgeon and futurist Dr. Peter Salgo calling for more and more electronic data at the AHIMA meeting.) Your thoughts please. ‘Snippets’ of Patient Data Are Accidentally Posted Hat tip to Anthony Sarro of Medical Practice Innovations, NYC.