The Real Deal on Medical Data Breaches: What Patients are Really Freaking Out About!

of businesses are closed 6 mos. after a data breach
0 %
of attacks are delivered through email
0 %
of businesses have cyber liability coverage
0 %
of cyber claims get denied due to non-compliance
0 %

ATTENTION: Healthcare Organizations, Physicians, and Medical Office Administrators!

The Real Deal on Medical Data Breaches: What Patients are Really Freaking Out About!

We have seen over the past few years a rise in healthcare data breaches and cybercriminal activities, and it’s only natural for individuals to worry about the safety of their sensitive health information. Let’s delve into a pressing matter that’s setting everyone on edge – medical data breaches!

It’s no secret that the escalating number of data breaches in the healthcare sector has patients deeply troubled about the safety of their sensitive health information. Let’s take a closer look at the facts: In the first half of 2023, a startling 339 data breaches involving 500 or more records were reported to the HHS’ Office for Civil Rights. Though this represents a decline from the previous year, the staggering compromise of over 41 million healthcare records in just six months raises serious alarm bells.

Recently, Health Gorilla conducted a comprehensive study to gauge patients’ perspectives on health information privacy and data sharing. They asked 1,213 patients who’ve seen a doctor in the last year about their thoughts on health info privacy and data sharing. The results are eye-opening, with a whopping 95% of patients expressing grave concerns that their medical records might be pilfered by cybercriminals or exposed online. The worry is justified, given the gravity of the situation.

A considerable 70% of respondents expressed extreme or moderate concerns about healthcare data breaches, indicating a prevailing unease among patients. Moreover, over half of the participants harbored reservations about the privacy and security measures adopted by entities entrusted with their health data. A pertinent question indeed – can we blame them?

Intriguingly, the study highlighted patients’ mistrust of big tech companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, as they gain increasing access to healthcare information through their products and services. An astounding 65% of respondents revealed they either don’t trust or slightly distrust these corporate giants. Their trepidation is fueled by past data breaches and a lack of transparency regarding data handling and storage practices. This loss of faith stems from concerns that these tech behemoths, heavily reliant on data monetization, might commercialize the health data they possess or even sell it to third parties.

On a more optimistic note, patients displayed a greater level of confidence in health data exchange facilitated by government-approved entities. Approximately 60% of respondents felt significantly more or much more secure in such exchanges. Nonetheless, irrespective of the entities involved, there remains apprehension that health data could be utilized for purposes beyond its intended use.

Comfort levels in sharing health data vary depending on the purpose. A substantial 71% of patients expressed comfort in sharing health data with healthcare providers for treatment purposes, a logical stance. Conversely, only 39% were at ease with health plans accessing their medical records, and a mere 23% felt comfortable with government agencies accessing their health data for public health reasons. Data sharing for operations-related purposes garnered even less support, with only 28% of respondents expressing comfort.

To address the trust issue, proponents advocate the sharing of de-identified data, where personal identifiers are removed. While 64% of respondents expressed comfort with de-identified data sharing for research purposes, a noteworthy 13% preferred not to have their health data shared, even in de-identified form. An interesting divergence in perspectives, to say the least.

Notably, the study reinforced the significance of HIPAA, which grants patients the right to access their medical records. An overwhelming 94% of respondents acknowledged the importance of this right. Impressively, 88% of patients exercised this right, accessing their medical records at least once in the past year, with nearly half doing so within the last three months. Although issues have arisen in providing access to medical records, the majority of patients found the process relatively straightforward, with 72% reporting it as extremely or somewhat easy.

Steve Yaskin, Co-Founder and CEO at Health Gorilla, aptly pointed out the need to build trust with patients. As we strive to establish a universal floor for interoperability, (the ability for systems and software to make use of and exchange information), patient confidence in the healthcare system becomes pivotal. The concerns voiced by patients are genuine, and they must play a significant role in the national dialogue on health data privacy. Addressing these concerns requires collective action, where the solutions will emerge in diverse forms, but the underlying imperative is clear – it’s time to act.

Join me in embracing the call to action. Healthcare organizations, including SMBs, private practice physicians, and public companies, must acknowledge the gravity of the issue, prioritize HIPAA compliance, and fortify their cybersecurity measures. By demonstrating unwavering dedication to patient privacy and data security, a safer healthcare landscape will emerge, earning the trust that patients so rightly deserve.

The journey ahead may be challenging, but together, we can overcome these obstacles, fostering a future where patients feel secure in the knowledge that their medical data is in capable hands.

Let’s stand united, ensuring that patient trust remains at the heart of our healthcare practices.

Sources: 95% of Patients are Worried About Medical Record Breaches (

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. For specific compliance concerns, please consult with a qualified legal professional.

By Derreck Ogden

Fill out the form below and one of our expert team members will contact to you to talk about your business’s bright future in these uncertain times! 

Contact Us Today!

Your business is constantly exposed to cyber threats that could damage your reputation, compromise sensitive data, and even bring operations to a halt. Waiting to take action against these threats puts your business at a greater risk of attack. It’s time to take control of your technology infrastructure and protect your business. Don’t wait any longer to get started.

Connect with the WOM Technology Management Group today and take the necessary steps towards securing your business. Our team of experts will get back to you within one business day to begin your journey towards confidence in your technology infrastructure.

Our Confidence as a Service™ model offers a unique approach to technology optimization and cyber risk management. With our comprehensive suite of services, we can help you achieve your business goals and reduce the likelihood of cyber attacks. By working with us, you’ll have access to a team of professionals with years of experience in technology and cyber risk management.

We are excited to work with you and show you how Confidence as a Service™ can revolutionize your business technology infrastructure. Don’t hesitate any longer to make the change your business needs. Contact us now and let’s get started.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *