• Security and Privacy in Radiology

      Workie, Betre; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Krupinski, Elizabeth (The University of Arizona., 2011-10-28)
      Radiology is one of the most high-tech fields of medicine. The digitization of medical information including radiographic data has led to improved efficiency and productivity but it has also presented new challenges in the area of privacy and security. In this study we have tried to answer some questions regarding how secure the current electronic radiology systems are and what individual and systemic factors affect the security and privacy of confidential patient data. A total of 77 radiologists and radiology residents participated in an online survey which included questions on physical security, computer systems security, and training and prevention. Since there was no objective way to measure overall security, we have used the overall security grade given by survey takers as our outcome, the dependent variable. Multiple regression analysis and ANOVA (Analysis of Variance) analyses were conducted. The regression analysis, with few exceptions, showed that only two variables contributed significantly to the final security grade. One of them was about unauthorized persons gaining access to the radiology facility, and the second one was about locking computer screens when temporarily away from a work station. A separate analysis was done using data for physical security, 4 computer systems security, training and prevention, and other security/privacy questions. Security threat level to current radiology systems is very low; however, the preparedness of these facilities to protect their infrastructure from future attacks is not adequate and there is room for improvement. As far as keeping confidential patient information private, most institutions seem to be doing a good job.