Patient data security breached at Jackson Health

Almost 8 million people have experienced a breach of their medical data during the last two years, according to data from Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights. And that number continues to climb as patient data were recently taken from Florida's Jackson Health System, the system announced Monday.

Jackson Health says it is working with police to investigate an employee who accessed confidential information of 1,800 patients, the Miami Herald reports.

The health system said it responded quickly to the patient data theft and terminated the individual's employment at JHS, notes the article.

In addition, all affected patients have been notified of the breach and have been offered free fraud protection going forward.

The article highlights that medical data theft appears to be a trend in the Sunshine State. Just last June, health data at AvMed health insurance were compromised when two laptops containing information on 1.2 million patients disappeared from a conference room. As a result, AvMed has been named to the HHS list of top offenders who breach medical information of 500 or more individuals.

And with data breaches costing hospitals $1 million a year--and EHRs making medical records more easily accessible--healthcare facilities ought to reinforce their data security systems.

For more information:
- read the Miami Herald article
- here's the HHS Office for Civil Rights list