Intended for healthcare professionals


Leaks and threats to patient data

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 11 February 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d871

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. Syed Abdul Shabbir1,
  2. Luis Fernandez-Luque2,
  3. Yu-Chuan Li3,
  4. Min-Huei Hsu3,
  5. Pei-San Lee1,
  6. Wen-Ta Chiu4
  1. 1Institute of Biomedical Informatics, National Yang Ming University, Taipei City 112, Taiwan
  2. 2Northern Research Institute, Tromsø, and Medical Informatics and Telemedicine Group, Computer Science Department, University of Tromsø, Norway
  3. 3Graduate Institute of Biomedical Informatics, Taipei Medical University, Taipei
  4. 4Graduate Institute of Neural Regenerative Medicine, Taipei Medical University
  1. jaak88{at}

The number of thefts of laptop computers and USB flash drives is increasing, and the threat of stolen information being published online is real. The situation may worsen if hackers start to operate websites similar to WikiLeaks.

The US Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 provided incentives of about $37bn to encourage “meaningful use” of …

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