Inspector General: Security Flaws Put Electronic Patient Records at Risk

WASHINGTON — Two reports released Tuesday by the inspector general of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggest that the push to computerize medical records could leave patient information vulnerable to hackers.

The first report found that the government agency leading the push has put in place some requirements for safely transmitting computerized medical data, but no security requirements were issued for computer systems at hospitals and doctors’ offices, MSNBC reports.

The second audit found 151 security vulnerabilities at seven large hospitals in California, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York and Texas. Four out of five of the weaknesses were classified as “high impact,” meaning they could result costly losses, such as injury or death.

The government is offering rewards to encourage the adoption of electronic medical records. Incentive payments could total $27 million over 10 years.

Read the full story.

Read the Audit of Information Technology Security Included in Health Information Technology Standards.

Read the Nationwide Rollup Review of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 Oversight.

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