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Breach of the week...NHS still h ...

Posted Nov 10 2008 4:21pm

Breach of the week... NHS still having security issues... this time paper in the trash was found with patient records and information...problem is still people..paper or technology there's a learning curve, training and procedures to be image followed..the directory gave up and quit... but it's probably not all his fault... if folks don't follow directions and procedures and make bad decisions...well he can't be there with everybody 24/7... its the chain of command that is breaking down.... usually those who resent technology in some form or another that may not realize the seriousness of security...I see that all the time and do my best to advise against carrying around patient data on notebooks, USB sticks, etc. but they still do it, so go figure... I actually feel sorry for him as he's in a winless situation...until the education process of how to use technology advances, we will continue to hear these stories over and over again..and how did that notebook get sold on EBay with medical records on the drive.. doesn't anybody wipe drives or remove them and replace with a new hard drive before selling or retiring the computer from active service...and why was information not secured on a server!!...BD image

Alas, patient records going missing - in both paper and digital format - is nothing new. As recently as last week, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS trust lost a memory stick containing the medical records of cancer patients. And a computer decommissioned from Dudley hospital was recently sold on eBay with  medical records still on the hard drive.

One would hope that the NHS's national programme for IT would in essence provide some greater data security - as the programme's departing chief executive, Richard Granger, has frequently commented, leaving huge trolleyfuls of confidential records lying around in hospital corridors is much less secure than putting them behind computer firewalls. Still, anecdotes abound of clinicians sharing passwords and access cards to health records and leaving computers logged in.

This is why computers aren't the solution and aren't the problem. Somebody chose to dump paper records in an anonymous bin, and another somebody neglected to securely wipe the hard drive. People, rather than the technology they use, are always going to be where the pipes burst.

Hospitals under scrutiny as health records found in bin | Joe Public | Guardian Unlimited

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