Data breaches of protected health information (PHI) aren’t just a challenge for health care providers: according to a new report, it’s a problem that has been experienced in 90% of all industries, from agriculture to entertainment. And those compromises could be changing patient behavior.
In its recently released PHI Data Breach Report (.pdf), researchers for Verizon analyzed reported PHI data breach incidents in 25 countries from 1994 to 2014. Unlike other analyses that searched for records of breaches filed under “health care” in the North American Industry Classification System, the Verizon report expanded its review to include not only the health care industry, but any breach in any industry in which the data type lost was listed as “medical records,” or the data subject (victim) of the breach was listed as “patient.”
The widened search yielded 1,972 breaches that affected 392 million records, most occurring between 2004 and 2014. The health care industry was the leader in terms of number of breaches, but nearly every other industry experienced breaches that involved PHIs.