About Us | Contact Us
View Cart

OHSU Google Cloud Storage Puts Patient Health Information at Risk

By Vigilize | Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - Leave a Comment

Security of private health data for over 3 thousand patients compromised by residents using Gmail.

Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) is currently in hot water for storing patient data and health information in a cloud service without first conducting due diligence.

On July 26, OHSU alerted 3,044 of its patients that it had stored their health data using Google Drive and Google Mail. Google is not a business associate for OHSU and there is no contract in place to ensure the security of patient health information stored within Google’s cloud servers.

With this issue brought to light, OHSU quickly took actions to remove all protected health information from Google’s services and composed the following letter to inform patients of the situation.

In May 2013, an OHSU School of Medicine faculty member discovered residents, or physicians-in-training, in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery were using Internet-based services to maintain a spreadsheet of patients. Their intent was to provide each other up-to-date information about who was admitted to the hospital under the care of their division.

Upon learning of the incident, OHSU Information Privacy and Security experts undertook an extensive investigation to determine what information was stored on the Internet-based service, who was impacted and the likelihood that disclosure of the information could cause harm to the patients involved. This investigation led to the discovery of a similar practice in the Department of Urology and in Kidney Transplant Services. After weeks spent reconstructing the data, the privacy and security experts discovered 3,044 patients admitted to the hospital between Jan. 1, 2011, and July 3, 2013, were affected.

The data stored with the Internet service provider included the patient’s name, medical record number, dates of service, age, provider’s name and diagnosis/prognosis. For 731 patients, the data also included an address. For 617 patients, neither the reason for hospital stay, or diagnosis, nor the patient’s prognosis, or projected outcome, was among the stored data. The data DID NOT include the patient’s Social Security Number, insurance information, credit card information, bank information, phone number or date of birth.

And check out this infotex awareness poster dealing with this exact issue! Don’t let this happen to your company. Practice due diligence before you upload data to any cloud service. Awareness Poster: Storing Data on the Cloud Isn’t Always Safe


Original article by Patrick Ouellette.
Read the full story here.

Latest News
    Today we present a special BONUS awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  This update to the April 2022 Awareness Poster takes some cues from the Dan’s New Leaf article: Why Local? Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Check out posters.infotex.com for the […]
    Awareness is 9/11’s of the battle, if we use it! Another one of those Dan’s New Leaf Posts, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . . One of my old college buddies hates banks.  He was turned down for a loan a long time ago and just can’t let go.  I actually […]
    PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SERVICE NEWS Dateline: Dayton, IN, June 22, 2022 We are proud to announce that infotex will now be supporting Endpoint Detection and Response (XDR/MDR)! We can manage/monitor solutions you already have or offer one as part of our service while still maintaining a segregated response posture. In recent years […]
    Over 85 percent of surveyed companies report having no  centralized monitoring of networked industrial devices… An article review. If you are involved in IT within your organization, you’re probably aware of the importance of being able to monitor relevant activity from your networked devices, especially if your organization is involved in healthcare, finance, or government.  […]
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Check out posters.infotex.com for the whole collection! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around […]
    We always strive to bring you the best content that we possibly can. Your opinion on any content, presentation, service, or anything else you have received from us is important! Please click the button below to let us know how we are doing!  
    What to Expect in an Annual Information Security Report to the Board Webinar-Movie Information security ranks as a top risk to financial institutions, both in terms of likelihood and overall impact. It is important that boards receive annual comprehensive reporting from management about the information security risks and incidents, and the actions taken to address […]
    The Five Precepts of IT Vendor Management Webinar-Movie We’re going back to basics on Vendor Management. This webinar will give you a training tool to help out that new person that is starting to take on the gargantuan task that is Vendor Management.
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Check out posters.infotex.com for the whole collection! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around […]
    The joint cybersecurity advisory includes the 15 most exploited vulnerabilities reported in 2021… An article review.  While a lot of attention is focused on previously undisclosed or “zero day” attacks, some of the most likely attack vectors are vulnerabilities that have been widely known for weeks or even months.  That’s according to a new joint […]