Unsecured Medical Records Pose Serious Health Risks for PatientsOctober 10, 2018
Researchers at the University of California have discovered that hospitals may be vulnerable to computer hackers who can remotely access medical record systems and modify test results. These attacks can have a significant impact on patient safety, as well as the medical infrastructure of the United States. Unfortunately, according to the team of physicians and computer scientists, these cyber-attacks are easier than you might think.
The researchers from UC San Diego and UC Davis staged a demonstration at a conference in Las Vegas of how easily an attack can happen. The vulnerabilities that the researchers discovered are not new, but they are the first to compromise the health and safety of patients. The standards used to transfer patient information within hospital networks were developed over 40 years ago and have not been updated since. Aging medical equipment that is used by employees that have little to no cybersecurity training has resulted in a significant amount of patient information circulating over an unsecure network. Most of these networks do not require passwords or authentication codes.
Impact of Data Hacking
Researchers want to highlight the effects that data hacking can have, and how the compromised data can be manipulated when it is in the wrong hands. If the compromised data harms devices or the networks that connect them, this can have a devastating impact on human life. The demonstration that the researchers staged combined the expertise of clinicians and computer scientists to exploit the weaknesses that exist in these outdated standards, and the impact they have on patient care.
According to an anesthesiologist resident at the UC Davis Medical Center, we place too much trust in the technology and infrastructure used to care for patients. We need to be aware of the threats that exist and take proactive steps to ensure that this data is protected. He also believes that it is important to educate fellow colleagues about data security and countermeasures that the hospitals and other medical facilities can take to protect themselves and their patients against these types of attacks. Examples of countermeasures include creating medical record systems that are password-protected and secured behind a firewall, educating hospital IT staff on how to protect against cybersecurity issues, offering cybersecurity training sessions for hospital employees, and incorporating cybersecurity needs into the Food and Drug Administration’s approval process. Any outdated software should be upgraded or replaced if the system is too old.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Fight Against Hacked Medical Records
If an unsecure medical records system jeopardized your health in any way, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will investigate the circumstances of your injury or illness and determine whether the hospital or your physician was negligent in any way. Hospitals have a responsibility to ensure that their medical records are protected from cyber security threats that can jeopardize the health of their patients. We will seek the maximum financial compensation for your injuries and protect your legal rights. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.