The reason destruction of information is so important is that there are hackers out there just waiting for a chance to steal information. To date, it’s estimated that 30 million Americans have been effected by medical information theft.
Most recently and notably was the security breach of US medical information by Chinese hackers.A company called Community Health Systems was hacked into and records for 4.5 million Americans were stolen or compromised.
The dangers of more technology and more centralized record keeping means more potential for many people’s information to be stolen.The information taken by these hackers wasn’t medical, it was personal. It included social security numbers which are often sold and used to steal a person’s identity.
New Jersey Theft
Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey was forced to inform 840,000 patients that their data had been stolen in late 2013.
It was discovered after a weekend that laptops that were tethered to desks had gone missing.
While the company doesn’t believe the laptops were stolen for the personal information on them, the information was still on those laptops.Steps were taken to offer free credit monitoring to any patients whose social security numbers may have been compromised.
One Incident at Walgreens
On a smaller scale, the case of Walgreens v. Hinchy shows just how vulnerable companies can be when it comes to patient information.In this case, the victim made a claim that, through negligence of HIPAA laws, Walgreens was responsible for their pharmacist taking her information and sharing it with the pharmacist’s husband.This is a good case to use as an example to ensure employees have been properly trained and policies followed, otherwise you open up your company to potential lawsuits and your own security breach.
These security breaches show us just how important it is to handle patient information correctly and lawfully.
At Shred Alaska, Inc., we can help. Contact us today to see how!