Massachusetts General Hospital suffered a data breach in June, exposing the sensitive information of approximately 10,000 individuals. Between June 10 and June 16, an investigation revealed that the “unauthorized third party” accessed data used by Neurology researchers. Exposed data includes names, medical record numbers, and medical histories. The hospital is in the process if notifying those affected by the breach.
Bad actors have increasingly targeted the healthcare industry given that it contains a goldmine of personal information. In Boston specifically, in addition to MGH, Cambridge Health Alliance, McLean Hospital, and Boston Medical Center have all suffered similar incidents during the past five years.
“I think this goes to show you can never be too careful with patient data,” Nilesh Chandra, a Boston-based health care expert at PA Consulting, said in a statement. “Even for highly mature organizations, a privacy centric approach is required in all aspects of clinical and business operations to ensure that patient data is handled securely.”