NYC Hospital Puts 6800 Health Records Online

Posted on September 29, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

A New York City hospital has apologized for a security lapse that allowed personal information belonging to as many as 6,800 former patients to be published on the Internet.

New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center says the information included names, clinical data and a few social security numbers.

The hospital said in a statement that the data had been inadvertently placed on a server, which was accessible online. The information has now been taken down. –Source

This is a pretty sad indiscretion although it is lacking some important details. I hate that it only says personal information for 6800 former patients. Ok, putting ANY health information on an insecure web server is just dumb, but not all health information is created equal. Plus, wouldn’t it be nice to know what happened to cause this issue so that others could learn from their mistakes?

Plus, was the health information placed on the web server in an accessible location or was it just on the web server? That would be very different things.

Still something’s wrong if they’re putting patient information on an unsecured server. Makes me wonder what the rest of the story really is though.