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Healthcare privacy & security stats you want to know

by ​Michael Campana
If these figures are any indication, we’re in the midst of some very challenging times with respect to healthcare data security.

Cyber-attacks are up 125% compared to five years ago and now constitute the leading cause of healthcare data breaches.

By taking these steps, you can help your organization to safeguard information against data breaches and other privacy and security concerns.

65% of healthcare organizations don’t offer any protection services for patients whose healthcare data has been lost or stolen.

The average cost of healthcare data breaches stands at $2.1 million.

Only about 50% of healthcare organizations perform the four-factor risk assessment following each security incident, as required by the HIPAA Final Rule.

This year’s Fifth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy & Security of Healthcare Data by the Ponemon Institute1 uncovered these surprising facts. And, while this information may be disconcerting, each of the issues mentioned above can be addressed through an effective data management strategy.

IT leaders should be focusing the lion’s share of their efforts on preventing healthcare data breaches in the first place. To this end, we strongly recommend you and your team to consider taking the following measures:

  • Lock down all workstations and associated equipment, including printers and multifunction devices, against unauthorized access to patient health information (PHI)
  • Keep encryption and decryption capabilities for transmission and storage of PHI up to date
  • Conduct thorough and comprehensive annual risk assessments, including actual hacking attempts based on real-life scenarios, of data management systems and processes
  • Educate and train all staff, from the CEO to the maintenance staff, on HIPAA requirements

Make data protection a priority 

When you effectively capture, transform and manage data, you’re more likely to avoid costly breaches. 
Based on the Ponemon Institute study, it’s clear that organizations need to make data protection a priority. By taking these steps, you can help your organization to safeguard information against data breaches and other privacy and security concerns. 
Michael Campana
Michael Campana joined Ricoh in 2012 as Senior Manager of Healthcare Marketing. He brings 27 years of experience to the role to lead the market positioning and strategy for Ricoh’s healthcare industry vertical in the Americas. Campana began his career in the healthcare industry upon graduating from the University of South Florida. He has worked for a number of healthcare organizations, including most recently Siemens Medical Solutions Health Services. 
1 Ponemon Institute. "Fifth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy and Security of Healthcare Data." May 2015.