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Stanford Hospital fails at patient privacy

Posted By Ricardo Barton On Sep 9, 2011 @ 8:56 pm In News | Comments Disabled

Stanford Fail

Now, now, kids, it isn’t polite to poke fun at our incompetent adversaries brethren across the Bay. Especially when their failures come at the expense of many thousands of unsuspecting people.

According to The New York Times [1], the private records of 20,000 emergency room patients at Stanford Hospital were posted on a commercial website where they remained for almost a year (almost a year? Holy sh-) before being discovered last month. While the records did not contain Social Security numbers, birth dates or credit card numbers, they did contain “names, diagnosis codes, account numbers, admission and discharge dates, and billing charges for patients.”

And you thought we were calling them incompetent just to be mean.

Much of the blame, however, is being passed on (what a surprise) to Multi-Specialty Collection Services, an outside billing contractor which created the spreadsheet that ended up on “Student of Fortune,” a website that allows students to buy answer sheets purchase online tutoring services. The spreadsheet was posted on the site last September “as an attachment to a question about how to convert the data into a bar graph.”

Uh … wow … that is incredibly dumb.

The person who posted it remains unknown but we’re assuming he graduated from Stanford.

Image Source: Jez Page [2] under Creative Commons
Patient Data Posted Online in Major Breach of Privacy [New York Times [1]]

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URL to article: http://clog.dailycal.org/2011/09/09/stanford-hospital-fails-at-patient-privacy/

URLs in this post:

[1] According to The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/09/us/09breach.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=all

[2] Jez Page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jezpage/4259659744/

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