The Danger of Used Health Information Technology

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Remember to destroy that hard drive!

By D. Kellus Pruitt DDS

1-darrellpruittNEWS FLASH!

Affinity Health Plan to Pay $1.2 Million+ for HIPAA Violations -The HHS Office for Civil Rights on August 14 sent the industry a message on the importance of erasing protected health information on hardware being sold, recycled or returned,” by Joseph Goedert, HealthDataManagement.

http://www.healthdatamanagement.com/news/breach-notification-hipaa-privacy-security-affinity-46483-1.html

Talk about bad luck

A photocopier once leased by Affinity Health was purchased by CBS Evening News – which discovered that the copier’s hard drive contains 344,579 individuals’ unencrypted Protected Health Information.

The Response

In response to the federal investigation triggered by the CBS discovery, the Office of Civil Rights announced: “OCR’s investigation indicated that Affinity impermissibly disclosed the protected health information of these affected individuals when it returned multiple photocopiers to leasing agents without erasing the data contained on the copier hard drives.

Moreover ….

In addition, the investigation revealed that Affinity failed to incorporate the electronic protected information stored on photocopier hard drives in its analysis of risks and vulnerabilities as required by the Security Rule, and failed to implement policies and procedures when returning the photocopiers to its leasing agents.”

Assessment

Before disposing of used technology, remember to destroy the hard drive.

Conclusion

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One Response

  1. Health-Care IT Execs Aim to Upgrade Infrastructure

    Most health IT executives are focused on efficiency and innovation, but many of them report being held back by their current IT infrastructure.

    http://www.cioinsight.com/it-strategy/infrastructure/health-care-it-execs-aim-to-upgrade-infrastructure/?kc=CIOQUICKNL08152013STR1TOC&dni=73245274&rni=29507698

    Chuck

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