Archives: May 2005

Tue May 31, 2005

Hospital Uses Insecure Web Technology

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Web site included an insecure an online form used to collect patient information,according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The form asked for names, Social Security numbers and prescriptions, the paper stated.

According to the Gazette, the medical center's form was not "https," which is method of transmitting encrypted data over the internet. Rather, the form's data was not encrypted.

Posted by: Duncan Kinder on May 31, 05 | 3:56 pm | Profile

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More patient privacy means less medical research

Complying with new federal medical privacy regulations are causing �a drastic drop� in the percent of heart attack survivors and chest pain patients who take part in follow-up surveys after they leave the hospital., according to University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center researchers. Meanwhile, these same privacy regulations cost researchers thousands more dollars, they state.

Reportedly, patients joining the surveys have dropped 96 percent to 34 percent, they state. First year research now costs $8,704.50 more while year after that now costs $4,558.50 more.

Under a two-year-old federal medical privacy law known as HIPPA, patients must now sign a long, complicated consent form before researches could study their case. Previously, researchers only needed to telephone patients to get consent.

According to the researchers, only about one-third of 855 patients returned the new form. Previously, 96.4 percent of 1,221 patients agreed.

According to a press release describing this drop, �The lower participation rate with the HIPAA-compliant written consent means that the data collected would be less meaningful. The study also finds that patients who returned written consents were far more likely to be older, married and white than those who refused to consent or didn't answer�

Posted by: Duncan Kinder on May 31, 05 | 2:55 pm | Profile

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