X

20K Patients’ Health Data Exposed Online

Stanford Hospital records viewable for a year
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2011 12:38 PM CDT

(Newser) – Confidential medical records of some 20,000 patients at a top hospital were posted online where anyone could see them—for almost a year. Somehow, data for Stanford Hospital’s ER patients moved from the hands of a billing contractor onto a Web site devoted to schoolwork help. The information was posted on the site, called Student of Fortune, in September 2010, a hospital rep tells the New York Times; the spreadsheet was contained in an attachment to a query about graphing.

story continues below

The data revealed patients’ names, diagnosis codes, billing charges, admission dates, and more—though it didn’t show Social Security or credit card numbers. A patient came upon the posted data just weeks ago and told the hospital; the Web site quickly took down the post. Such breaches are not isolated incidents: Medical data for some 11 million people has been revealed over the past two years across 44 states, government records show. Causes range from wrongly-addressed mail to files left on the subway. Click for more on recent medical data breaches. (Read more Stanford University stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X