In its fourth annual report on U.S. breaches of protected health information, security firm Redspin Inc. notes that in the past four years as providers swiftly adopted electronic health records, nearly 30 million Americans have had their protected health information compromised.

The prime culprit is theft or loss of unencrypted portable computing devices, and employee negligence alone will continue to drive breach statistics higher, the company contends. “This should be a clarion call to the health care industry. The trajectory is predictable yet preventable. With PHI data on more portable devices used by more ‘under-educated’ employees, it is a virtual certainty that there will be more breaches. Mitigating that risk must become a higher priority throughout the entire industry.”

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