In his blog at Advance, Jay Vance spotlights a story about Potential Offshore Outsourcing Catastrophe – Medical Records For Sale In India. It’s a pretty interesting read and although the sting operation was carried out by a UK team and involved UK records, it doesn’t take much to see that the same situation could be happening with US medical records.
In short, the Economic Times article sums up the pertinent issue:
…investigations conducted by a British TV channel have come up with the stunning revelation that confidential medical records sent to India for computerisation are being offered for sale, triggering heightened concerns about breach of data security here.
I expect a pretty instant reaction. The BPO business in India is too lucrative to be threatened by something like this. In fact, an English-language Indian blog site posts a response from NAAVI (a portal on Indian cyber law). Unfortunately, whatever NAAVI has to say about this is not available due to some glitch at the web site, but the blogger posts an article related to it (or it’s the NAAVI article, reposted – hard to tell when I can’t read the original): Medical Transcription Industry in India needs to tighten its security.
However, it is possible for sections of the International Community which is opposed to outsourcing business to India to pick up the current incident and blow it out of proportion. They may actually try to get sanctions passed against outsourcing of business to India through the Data Protection Act in EU or through HIPAA/HITECH in USA. The problems will not stop at the small medical transcriptionists. It is likely to affect the image of the country as a “Security Conscious” country and would hurt even the larger companies.
This should be an interesting development to keep an eye on!