Health data breaches involving more than 500 patients rose to 498 and affected 21,141,322 patients, according to a HIP/SA analysis of OCR data from Sept. 18 through Oct. 17.
This came after a month in which no new breaches were reported and when breaches totaled 489 and affected 21,021,132 individuals.
The leading reason for major breaches continued to be theft, accounting for 250 by itself, an increase of six incidents. Theft was implicated in 24 additional major breaches.
The second leading cause was unauthorized access/disclosure, accounting for 89 breaches by itself, and involved in 23 others.
The loss of patient data was third, solely accounting for 57 major breaches and was a reason invoked in 14 other cases.
Paper records were the leading location of breached patient information, accounting for 116 incidents and involved in five other breaches. Laptops accounted for 110 breaches and were involved in 15 other instances.
Portable electronic devices accounted for 66 breaches and were involved in another 11 cases. Network servers were solely involved in 44 breaches and implicated in another 13 incidents.
The full analysis of the health data breaches is available in Health Information Privacy/Security Alert.