The ongoing effort to enable the secure exchange of health information from coast to coast recently got a very important boost when five well-known healthcare organizations joined forces to serve as trailblazers.
State agencies transferred information containing unencrypted, personal information to unsecured servers between January and May 2010, but the exposure was not discovered until two weeks ago, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs says.
Sens. John Kerry and John McCain introdcued legislation that would balance individual privacy rights while allowing businesses to collect consumer information that could be used to market products and services.
Joy Pritts of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT says the office intends to develop standards that would give patients the ability to exclude clinicians from accessing certain portions of their electronic health records.
Most furloughed federal employees would have had to turn in their BlackBerries and other mobile devices in a U.S. government shutdown. Just as well, using the technology could have resulted in an employee landing in the slammer.
After the revelation of Operation Aurora, the term began to take on a different meaning. "In essence," IBM's X-Force report says, "APT became associated with any targeted, sophisticated or complex attack regardless of the attacker, motive, origin or method of operation."
Three recent breach incidents, each involving the loss or theft of back-up drives, illustrate that some organizations are doing a better job than others in informing consumers about the steps they're taking to prevent more breaches.
A draft of a Federal Health IT Strategic Plan provides a roadmap that the next national coordinator for health IT may use in spearheading many efforts, including protecting the privacy of healthcare information.
The federal list of major health information breaches that have occurred since September 2009 included 249 incidents affecting nearly 8.3 million individuals as of Tuesday. But the total affected could surpass 10 million once details about the recent Health Net breach are added.