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Data from: Health IT, hacking, and cybersecurity: national trends in data breaches of protected health information

Citation

Ronquillo, Jay G. et al. (2019), Data from: Health IT, hacking, and cybersecurity: national trends in data breaches of protected health information, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.24275c6

Abstract

Objective: The rapid adoption of health information technology (IT) coupled with growing reports of ransomware, and hacking has made cybersecurity a priority in health care. This study leverages federal data in order to better understand current cybersecurity threats in the context of health IT. Materials and Methods: Retrospective observational study of all available reported data breaches in the United States from 2013 to 2017, downloaded from a publicly available federal regulatory database. Results: There were 1512 data breaches affecting 154 415 257 patient records from a heterogeneous distribution of covered entities (P < .001). There were 128 electronic medical record-related breaches of 4 867 920 patient records, while 363 hacking incidents affected 130 702 378 records. Discussion and Conclusion: Despite making up less than 25% of all breaches, hacking was responsible for nearly 85% of all affected patient records. As medicine becomes increasingly interconnected and informatics-driven, significant improvements to cybersecurity must be made so our health IT infrastructure is simultaneously effective, safe, and secure.

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