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Survey: Careless Employees A Major Cause Of Healthcare Privacy Breaches

Careless employees were named as one of the most serious threats to healthcare information privacy in a survey of smaller healthcare organizations conducted by the Ponemon Institute.

The study examined the practices of more than 700 IT and administrative practitioners working in physician and dentist offices, home healthcare services, health clinics and nursing care facilities with 250 employees or less. 48 percent of healthcare organizations surveyed named “Negligent employees who have access to patient data” when asked what they saw as the biggest threats that present the highest risk to their organization.

More than 90 percent of participants reported at least one data breach at their organization and nearly a quarter reported at least one incident of medical identity theft. Smaller healthcare providers also reported significantly higher use of paper versus electronic records.

The NNA strongly recommends that Notaries working for smaller healthcare organizations secure their journal records that may contain sensitive information about patients in a locked storage area when not in use, and prevent access to journals by unauthorized individuals. Journals should never be lent to co-workers or supervisors, or left unattended by the Notary. Training office Notaries and supervisors in sound notarization policies can also help reduce the risk of healthcare information breaches through notarial records.

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