Medical Data Breach Analysis tool now available

Khaled El Emam is anuber-Prof and Canada Research Chair in Electronic Health Information atthe University of Ottawaspecializing in privacy of electronic health information andtechnologies for de-identification of personal health information.

Today, Khaled’s research group is releasing a beta version of their medical data breachanalyzer tool. This is especially timely in light of yesterday’snews of a data breach involvingthousands of electronic health records in Alberta.

 We have just deployed a version (beta) of ourmedical data breach analyzer tool. This provides a dynamicdashboard to view medical breaches over the last few years. The toolcurrently allows you to view breach trends over time categorized bymethod and type of breach. It is available hereand you get to it from our main web page as well. There is moreinformation about the data source, data quality, etc. in the help file.

Some interesting observations on medical data breaches from January2007 to June 2009: (a) there were 183 reported breaches at medicalorganizations (from hospitals to health insurance claims processors)affecting ~6.6 million records, (b) the vast majority were caused byoutsiders (131 breaches and ~6 million records), and (c) the majorityof these were caused by theft (97 breaches and ~5 million records) andmany of these thefts were due to stolen laptops (59 breaches and ~2million records). Also, 43 of all the medical breaches (~23.5%) are dueto insiders.

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