Health center finds virus on computer with patient info

Information Management, 21 March 2017
Author: Joseph Goedert
“The health center at Lane Community College in Eugene, Ore., is notifying patients that their protected health information may have been compromised after finding one of its computers was infected with a virus for 11 months. Patient data at risk included names, dates of birth, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers and diagnoses.”
Find article here.

Ethical Implications of the Electronic Health Record: In the Service of the Patient

J Gen Int Med (2017). doi:10.1007/s11606-017-4030-1
Authors: Sulmasy, L.S., López, A.M., Horwitch, C.A. et al.
“Electronic health records (EHRs) provide benefits for patients, physicians, and clinical teams, but also raise ethical questions. Navigating how to provide care in the digital age requires an assessment of the impact of the EHR on patient care and the patient–physician relationship.”
Find article here.

Employee looked at patient info for 5 years at Nebraska hospital

Information Management, 8 March 2017
Author: Joseph Goedert
“Chadron Community Hospital, recently learned that an employee was accessing patient records outside of job duties for more than five years. An investigation found that compromised patient information included names, addresses, dates of birth, clinical information from the electronic health record system (diagnoses, orders, provider notes and test results) and insurance information. The hospital is notifying 702 patients and advising them to monitor financial accounts.”
Find article here.

NHS accused of covering up huge data loss that put thousands at risk

The Guardian, 27 February 2017
Authors: Denis Campbell, Pamela Duncan
“Thousands of patients are feared to have been harmed after the NHS lost more than half a million pieces of confidential medical correspondence, including test results and treatment plans. In one of the biggest losses of sensitive clinical information in the NHS’s 69-year history, more than 500,000 pieces of patient data sent between GPs and hospitals went undelivered over the five years from 2011 to 2016.”
Find article here.

ACT Health Minister announces data collection review after concerns about accuracy

SMH, 14 February 2017
Author: Katie Burgess
“The accuracy of ACT Health’s performance figures are again under scrutiny, more than five years after an employee was stood down for doctoring emergency service data. ACT health minister Meegan Fitzharris has ordered an urgent review into ACT Health’s data collection after the department failed to provide figures on its emergency department to the Productivity Commission for its annual comparison of the performance of states and territories.”
Find article here.

A thousand words in the palm of your hand: management of clinical photography on personal mobile devices

Med J Aust 2016; 205 (11): 499-500.
Authors: Kieran G Allen, Paul Eleftheriou, John Ferguson
“Opportunities to optimise patient care have been enhanced by this immediate transfer of accurate and relevant clinical images. Despite these benefits, photographic documentation of the patient’s condition on PMDs creates a sensitive personal record on inherently insecure devices when the patient is vulnerable. This exposes patients to an ongoing risk of potentially serious consequences and psychological harm in the event of illicit publication. Health care organisations must ensure that security is a paramount concern and that their clinicians obtain consent appropriately to minimise the risk of a breach of patient confidentiality.”
Find article here.

Becoming partners, retaining autonomy: ethical considerations on the development of precision medicine

BMC Medical Ethics 2016 17:67
Authors: Alessandro Blasimme, Effy Vayena
“Precision medicine promises to develop diagnoses and treatments that take individual variability into account. According to most specialists, turning this promise into reality will require adapting the established framework of clinical research ethics, and paying more attention to participants’ attitudes towards sharing genotypic, phenotypic, lifestyle data and health records, and ultimately to their desire to be engaged as active partners in medical research.”
Find article here.

Questions still need answering in Australia’s largest health data breach

The Conversation, 31 October 2016
Author: David Glance
“In what is Australia’s biggest data breach of medical information, more than 550,000 customers of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service had personal and medical details exposed online and leaked to an anonymous hacker last week.”
Find article here.

China Investigating Data Leak and Swindling of H.I.V. Patients

NYT, 21 July 2016
Source: Sinosphere
“Hundreds of people with H.I.V. across China were reporting that they were being called by someone who claimed to be from the government and had access to their medical records and other personal information.The director of a support network based in Beijing for people with H.I.V./AIDS, said he began receiving the messages about two weeks ago. While awaiting answers as to how their medical data was hacked or leaked, people with H.I.V. are worried about the possibility of new swindles or blackmail.”
Find article here.

Care.data has been scrapped, but your health data could still be shared

The Conversation, 12 July 2016
Author: Eerke Boiten
“Following a review by Dame Fiona Caldicott, the UK government decided to pull the plug on care.data, a controversial NHS initiative to store all patient data on a single database. This may seem like a victory for data-privacy advocates, but NHS data-sharing initiatives are still being planned and the goalposts are being moved on patient consent.”
Find article here.