We’ve discovered what happens to ePHI when it’s stolen and why is it valuable yet vulnerable to cyber criminals. Now we’ll take a look at the safety of paper records.
Are Paper Medical Records Better?
It may be tempting to think paper medical records are a safer option but according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Managed Care, they found that paper and films were the most frequent location of breached data. Verizon’s 2018 Protected Health Information Data Breach Report also found that 27% of data breach incidents were related to sensitive data on paper.
The Verizon report authors wrote, “Medical device hacking may be in the news, but it seems the real criminal activity is found by following the paper trail. Whether prescription information sent from clinics to pharmacies, billing statements issued by mail, discharge papers physically handed to patients, or filed copies of ID and insurance cards, printed documents are more prevalent in the healthcare sector than any other. The very nature of how PHI paperwork is handled and transferred by medical staff has led to preventable weaknesses—sensitive data being misdelivered (20%), thrown away without shredding (15%), and even lost (8%).”