With the increase of health information technology used to store and access patient information, the likelihood of security breaches has also risen. In fact, according to the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ):
In the United States, there was a whopping 97% increase in the number of health records breached from 2010 to 2011â€¦ The number of patient records accessed in each breach has also increased substantially, from 26,968 (in 2010) to 49,394 (in 2011). Since August 2009, when the US government regulated that any breach affecting more than 500 patients be publicly disclosed, a total of 385 breaches, involving more than 19 million records, have been reported to the Department of Health and Human Services.
A large portion of those breaches, 39%, occurred because of a lost, stolen, or otherwise compromised portable electronic deviceâ€”a problem that will likely only get worse as iPads, smartphones, and other gadgets become more common in hospitals. (CMAJ, 2012, p. E215).
Consider your own experiences. Does your organization use portable electronic devices? What safeguards are in place to ensure the security of data and patient information? For this Discussion you consider ethical and security issues surrounding the protection of digital health information.