For some time, it's been clear that identity thieves prefer to target medical records over other bits of personal information because they are worth more on the digital "black market." This is a trend that has grown in recent years, and a Fortune article has cited multiple studies that together show why this information is the most valuable.
Simply put, because medical records usually contain a vast amount of personal details, they are appealing to many different kinds of criminals, not just standard identity thieves. A stolen medical record thus represents multiple opportunities for exploitation as opposed to a credit card number or password. Certain criminal buyers are more interested in physical details than less concrete information, and some characteristics can be used to create fake IDs or other forms of valuable contraband.
The source spoke to Rick Kam of ID Experts, who pointed out that many healthcare institutions don't communicate well enough with each other to prevent this threat. Worse, they often keep their own separate records, which means more opportunities for thieves.
"Automation has come to health care industry late. And honestly, health care has been slow to adopt new innovation around medical record," Kam said. "The health care industry is very much a cottage industry so everyone has little bits and pieces of data about you and no one talks to each other."
If your practice has been following the same isolationist patterns as before, then it runs the risk of being attractive to hackers who will figure out how to exploit weakly protected data. Using healthcare IT consulting solutions will help practices find out how to be more in line with proper standards of security.