HIPAA violations go mass production

Stanford let demographic information on 20,000 ER visits escape onto the web.

A billing contractor created a spreadsheet containing names, account numbers, diagnosis, and length of stay for every admission to the ER for 6 months. Somehow, this spreadsheet was uploaded as an attachment to a post asking for help making bar-charts (you can’t make this up) to the tutoring website Student of Fortune. The information remained on the site freely available from September 2010 to August 2011.

Get all the details at the New York Times.

Maybe the next time we get alarmed about the threat to privacy from a case report or educational lecture we should think about the losers that are releasing medical data by the bucketful.