I had the pleasure of attending a Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) meeting last week on the Georgia Tech Campus. The meeting was titled: Securing Healthcare and Balancing Compliance, Security and Information Access. Long title, but necessary! Of course, as a healthcare IT professional, this was extremely interesting to me. It helps me answer the constant question on “is your healthcare record safe?” After all this time, I still can’t answer that.

The meeting focused a lot on security. The panel was fantastic. There was a Lawyer, ex-FBI hacker, Hospital CIO, and EMR software owner. Outstanding panel. The brought up some amazing points. Like; who has access to your records? Did you ever stop to think about that? They also talked about how hackers are attacking the healthcare record, and how valuable it is. On the black market, a Personal Information Record sells for around $25 each. a PHI record sells for $200 each. Why the drastic increase? A healthcare record is valuable for not only identity theft, but for drug seeking. Example: An elderly patient has Medicare, and has knee problems. Their health record is stolen. Someone can pose as them, present with knee problems, and obtain strong painkillers. There is also insurance fraud to add on top of that. So really…is your healthcare record safe?

One other thing to consider when thinking about your healthcare record, is that EMR’s were built to share. The whole premise of the government incentives and meaningful use, is to share data. We are struggling to protect data we are trying to share. Hackers are well aware of healthcare software, and the fact that healthcare is 10 years behind the banking industry when it comes to security. Keeping your healthcare record safe is at the forefront, improvements are on the horizon. In the meantime, be vigilant, and as a patient, help protect your personal record.