SPOTLIGHT: EMRs and hackers

It seems logical enough: the more data you put online, the more valuable the information becomes and thus the greater the chance someone will try to hack the system. The Wall Street Journal says that healthcare organizations reported 97 data breaches in 2008, up more than 50 percent from the year before, and more than financial institutions publicly disclosed. The number already has jumped in 2009, thanks in part to a new California law, and the problem could explode as health systems turn to EMRs so they can qualify for the forthcoming federal incentive payments. Meanwhile, the industry awaits government guidance on security. Article