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Report: Healthcare Workers Need To Train In Privacy Protection To Protect Sensitive Data

With Medical identity theft and unauthorized access to sensitive patient information a growing concern in the healthcare industry, employees working in the medical field must be trained — and actively participate — in guarding personal patient information to effect solutions, according to a recent report issued by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on healthcare data security.

Titled “Old Data Learns New Tricks” the study found the most serious breaches are attributed to unauthorized or improper access of private patient information by employees. While electronic data breaches occur the most often, paper-based security breaches also remain a major concern, making up 23 percent of information security incidents reported since 2009, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services statistics cited in the report.

The report recommends that healthcare organizations train all employees in data and privacy security procedures and encourage workers to take personal responsibility for sound privacy practices — but also ensure employees know when it is appropriate to access data as part of their duties. Healthcare Notaries must also be trained to properly safeguard the records of their notarizations, which contain personal identifying information of signers.

“Healthcare organizations need to make sure that employees and physicians have the training to make good decisions regarding the protection of patient data, but not make them afraid to do their jobs,” the report stated.

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