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Omnicell data breach affects close to 70,000

A comprehensive business continuity plan will account for the possibility of data breaches, either from cyber attacks or if devices like laptops are stolen from a company.
A comprehensive business continuity plan will account for the possibility of data breaches, either from cyber attacks or if devices like laptops are stolen from a company.

More businesses have become increasingly reliant on computer systems and other technological innovations. Hackers have found that breaching seemingly secure programs can provide a significant amount of information for stealing identities. It's crucial for organizations to undergo comprehensive disaster recovery planning so business resumption can be quick following any type of data breach.

The healthcare industry can be highly susceptible to cyber criminal attacks, and it's especially important for medical facilities to remain diligent in keeping their patients protected.

Hospital management vendor Omnicell became the most recent victim of a data breach, with more than 68,000 individuals being affected, according to FierceHealthIT. Originally, just 4,000 patients from the University of Michigan Medical System were reported as being possibly impacted. However, 56,000 patients from Norfolk, Virginia-based Sentara Healthcare have been notified of the breach, as well as 8,500 patients in the South Jersey Healthcare system.

According to the news source, the breach occurred when an unsecured device containing patient information was stolen from an Omnicell employee's locked car on Nov. 14, 2012. Omnicell said in a statement that the data on the device may have contained clinical and demographic information. Patient medical records, bank account information and Social Security numbers were not included.

"While Omnicell has no reason to believe that the device was taken for the information it contained, or that the information has been accessed or used improperly, out of an abundance of caution, Omnicell began sending letters to affected patients on December 31, 2012," the statement said. "Omnicell is also providing a dedicated call center to answer questions for those affected."

Even when a company believes it is fully prepared for many situations, it's well-advised to work with business continuity consultants to ensure that multiple scenarios are accounted for. With technology changing each day, it's important to keep all systems up-to-date and all employees fully educated.