Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Home Hospice offices were burglarized and six laptop and tablet computer devices were stolen, the Chicago-based hospital reported. According to Northwestern Memorial, it is doing an “internal investigation” to determine if any health information was compromised.
Information that may have been on the devices include patients’ personal demographics, including full name, address, date of birth and social security number; the patient’s medical treatment profile related to home hospice or former home health services, including diagnosis, acuity of symptoms, medications, treatment notes and advanced directives; and payor information, including the patient’s health insurance group, and policy numbers. The devices, according to Northwestern, were undergoing a software upgrade and standard laptop security controls were suspended, thus they personal health information was accessible.
Northwestern says it has sent letters to impacted patients or their families notifying them of the breach. It will provide victims a credit bureau monitoring service to catch irregularities that may signal identity theft. It does not believe the personal information was targeted.
This is just the latest in a string of health data breaches that have reportedly occurred across the country, in Boston, Houston, and elsewhere. Recently, the Obama administration has announced the launch of a public-private partnership aimed at fighting fraud in healthcare.
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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has announced five winners in Phase 2 of the “Move Health Data Forward” Challenge, a contest to develop solutions to help with the flow of health information.
At the HIMSS17 conference in Orlando on Monday, The National Association for Trusted Exchange (NATE) unveiled NATE’s Blue Button Directory (NBBD) and is demonstrating it as part of the Federal Health Architecture’s demonstrations in the HIMSS17 Interoperability Showcase.
At the HIMSS17 conference in Orlando, the nonprofit Regenstrief Institute announced a partnership with analytics vendor Health Catalyst involving Regenstrief's artificial intelligence-powered text analytics technology.
Cybersecurity has been elevated to a central concern for healthcare providers, with more attention at the board level and the C-suite, according to a new survey by Orem, Utah-based KLAS Research and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). The study found that 42 percent of organizations have a vice president or C-level official in charge of cybersecurity and for 39 percent of organizations, the head of cybersecurity is at the director level.