Survey: Half of IT professionals say health data is less secure than a year ago

Nearly half of IT security professionals responding to a recent survey believe that their personal health information is less secure than it was a year ago, according to security and compliance auditing software vendor nCircle. Just 27 percent say their health data is more secure than 12 months ago.

San Francisco-based nCircle surveyed 257 security professionals online between Feb. 4 and March 12 about the security of health data, smartphones, cloud computing and social media.

The survey respondents say insider threats are the most serious security issue facing healthcare organizations, Healthcare IT News reports. Alex Quilter, healthcare security strategist with nCircle, wonders if healthcare organizations aren't valuing patient care more than privacy. "The healthcare industry's focus on patient care is imperative, but should not come at the expense of patient privacy," he says in a company press release.

"This prioritization is correct but should not come at the expense of patient privacy," Quilter tells Healthcare IT News. "This is compounded by the large network of business partners that require access to patient data as part of the healthcare supply chain." Quilter recommends that healthcare providers set clear security policies for business partners that handle patient data and conduct regular security audits of those partners. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act makes business associates subject to the same HIPAA security regulations as covered entities.

For more information:
- read this Healthcare IT News story
- see this nCircle press release