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X-rays taken from Raleigh clinic after health information breach

May 14, 2013
Healthcare IT By LW Consulting Inc.

Responsible security measures are important facets of the IT industry, and should be a concern for those in medical IT even more. But in addition to the danger posed by leaving confidential health information vulnerable to outside sources, there are also risks involved in other existing health technologies, even something as ubiquitous as X-rays. 

HealthcareITNews  reported the recent story of Raleigh Orthopedic Clinic, a North Carolina facility that saw its patients' data compromised when X-rays from the clinic's records were illegally taken from another party, under the pretext of converting them to an electronic format, and allegedly sold for the amounts of silver such photos contain. As a result of this breach, the birthdays and names listed on the X-rays allegedly became available, prompting a warning from the clinic to its patients. The current value of silver apparently makes such a scam a lucrative proposition, especially considering that data on more than 17,000 individuals was supposedly taken. 

This could be a difficult piece of news for medical institutions looking to make the full transition to online records to hear. However, it can be seen as yet another example of the necessity of high-level, qualified healthcare IT consulting services that can help determine the most trusted and secure means through which a hospital or other practice can start to upgrade.

Hospitals can find themselves in a difficult position when making the decision to implement electronic records, but seeking professional guidance can help add a layer of safety and eliminate unnecessary risks.