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File Sharing Peer to Peer Programs Still Posing Risk to Exposing Patient Data – Think Twice About This

Posted Mar 03 2010 10:09am

Time to revisit this topic once more.  I have been the gambit on some of this, even going into hospitals and seeing Lime-Wire installed on employee PCs with IT managers not adequately policing group policy on their servers.  This is somewhat an issue too as when you advise the employee at that level to remove the application, they get mad too. I was told on a few occasions “this is my computer” and as a consultant nicely remind them that this is the hospital or doctor’s practice’s computer – yours is at home.

Hospitals and some doctor’s offices still don’t take this seriously and security breaches and identity theft continue on due to ignorance or improper procedures not followed.  What amazes me sometimes is the anger the results from security ignorance too when I try to explain why.  Let’s also not forget this story with opening personal email at work at the hospital too. 

This article is speaking about computer use at home and if a clinician has these program installed at home and is not perhaps using a VPN for all secure communication to protect, well files get shared accidentally due to use ignorance on how to apply settings.  We all demand and want privacy and yet some fail to read and adhere to the rules of the game.  That is the problem partly too, we are so wrapped up in gaming and playing it seems we can’t take 10 minutes perhaps in a day to read up and learn.  Things are changing rapidly and we need to do the same and keep up to date.  BD 

OTTAWA — Doctors who trade music on file-sharing programs might also be accidentally swapping something else: their patients' health records.

In the first study to test the way personal health information is disclosed through file-sharing applications, researchers from the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa discovered that software installed on home computers can make health and financial documents vulnerable to fraud or theft.

Common file-sharing software includes LimeWire, BitTorrent and Kazaa, which are used to share and access music, videos, and pornography.

He cautioned both citizens and doctors to cease file-sharing applications to protect their identities, especially as health records become electronic.

File-sharing programs might put doctors' patient records at risk: Study

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