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Health industry lacks patient data safeguards: poll

Reuters, September 22, 2011

New technologies are flooding into the healthcare world, but the industry is not adequately prepared to protect patients from data breaches, according to a report published on Thursday. A vast majority of hospitals, doctors, pharmacies and insurers are eager to adapt to increasingly digital patient data. However, less than half are addressing implications for privacy and security, a survey of healthcare industry executives by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP found. PwC's Health Research Institute interviewed 600 executives in the spring of this year and also found that less than half of their companies have addressed issues related to the use of mobile devices. Less than a quarter have addressed implications of social media. "The health IT and new uses of health information are changing quickly and the privacy and security sometimes may not be moving in step," said Jim Koenig, a PwC director who is among the contributors to the report.