MichaelSchumacher, the formerGerman Formula One Champion suffered a severe head injury in a skicrash in France Alps in December 2013. He underwent surgery in BadNauheim hospital, a highly renowned surgery hospital in German.Although Schumacher’s recovery process has been slow and this hascost the family a lot of money for the medical bill, he came out of asix month medically induced coma in June, 2015. It has been reportedthat his wife, Corinna, has sold most of the family assets such asthe private jet among others (Gover,2015).
Thispaper seeks to provide a comprehensive brief on the stealing ofMichaels Schumacher’s confidential medical records, the impacts ofthe incident, the reasons why it happened, the possibility of itsrecurrence and the remediation plan for the incident.
MichaelSchumacher’s medical records were stolen from the hospital during araid in Dr. Johannes Peil’s office. Peil is one of the team doctorstaking care of Schumacher treatment and his laptop was stolen duringthe raid, which contains confidential information on Schumacherhealth condition. The thieves accessed the premise through thebasement cellar (Gover,2015).
Theimpact of what happened
Accordingto Bond and Mitchels (2014), medical files are confidential and thusit is against the law the law to steal or share information with thepublic or any other unauthorized person. The stealing of Schumacher’smedical records has posed a serious threat to the medicalconfidentiality of patients in Bad Nauheim hospital. Schumacher’smedical records are private and confidential, and it is forbidden tobe presented to the public domain, and this would result in publicscrutiny that would impact negatively on the family and Schumacherhimself. Bond and Mitchels (2014), state that the medical recordsoften contain personal information that in most cases it shared onlywith the doctor attending to the patient. Schumacher`s medicalrecords are being auctioned on the internet, and this has adverselyaffected the family. It shows the lack of respect to Schumacherprivacy as a human being and as a patient. Schumacher’s family isalways met with the paparazzi when they arrive at the hospital, andthis causes distress to them. It is also against the law to purchaseor publish a confidential medical file of a patient. Schumacher’swife has vowed to take legal action if the stolen medical recordscontaining Schumacher’s condition were offered to the public.Publication of the content or providing information with reference toSchumacher’s medical file will be charged for criminal acts anddamages caused to Schumacher and the family (Gover,2015).
Additionally,the incident may have a long-term impact on the reputation andfinances of the hospital and cause a lot of inconveniences toemployees. It can cause customers, the public and stakeholders tolose trust in the hospital due to failure to adequately protect theconfidential information of patients in the hospital. According toBondand Mitchels (2014), patientstrust their doctors and share with them important information ontheir medical health. This trust is maintained by keeping informationconfidential and demonstrates their ability to be in control of theirrecords. The loss of trust can also result in inconveniences amongemployees where patients will not be willing to share crucialinformation about their health thereby affecting their efficiency inthe delivery of care and impact negatively on patient outcome. Lossof trust by customers in the hospital can result in a decrease in anumber of patients seeking medical attention in the hospital andthis, in turn, affects the revenue generation of the hospital (Gover,2015).
Thehospital responded by conducting the investigation into the incidentto determine the people responsible for stealing the medical records.The hospital involved the police into the matter that led to thearrest of a suspected helicopter medic who was in charge of thetransportation of Schumer during the accident. Also, the hospitalforbade the sale or purchase of the stolen medical records therebymaking it illegal. If these responses could not have worked,Schumacher`s medical records would have been sold to the mediacompanies and the confidential information made public thus violatingthe privacy of Schumacher’s medical condition (Gover,2015).
Schumacher’smedical state has been kept confidential from the public domain andsince the public has been kept in the wanted dark about this, whichis a very important information that the media requires. The updateson Schumacher’s recovery process have been scarce and this isbelieved to have increased curiosity among the public. It is allegedthat Schumacher’s were stolen for the purposes of selling them tothe media companies. The medical records were being offered at a veryhigh price at a minimum of $ 50, 000 (Quinn,2014).
Also,the theft of Schumacher’s medical records has been attributed toscant security at the hospital. Lack of adequate security at thehospital premises led to the occurrence of burglary and stealing ofSchumacher`s medical records.The hospital in which Schumacher was undergoing treatment did nothave any maturity issues. It has the expertise and competentworkforce and is recognized for being the best surgical hospital inGerman. Therefore, the organization did not affect the effectivenessof response of the police to the incident. It allowed the police toconduct investigations on the management, processes, and practices ofthe hospital and it was determined that the hospital did not haveadequate security, which facilitated the occurrence of the incident(Gover,2015).
Thelikelihood of it happening again
Thelikelihood of a recurrence of the incident is high because a similarincident happened in the previous year where the media companies puta high price for Schumer’s medical records. Additionally, thehelicopter medic who was arrested allegedly for leaking Schumacher’smedical files was found hanged in his cell in Zurich, Switzerland andso far no other arrests have been made. This, therefore, increasesthe possibility of the occurrence of the incident. Moreover, sincehis recovery is slow and the updates of the condition are scarce,this increases the possibility of the incident happening again in thefuture. Furthermore, security in the hospital has not been beefed upand this increases the likelihood of recurrence of the incident(Gover,2015).
Whatmust be done to prevent it from happening again (Remediation plan)
Therecurrence of the incident of stealing Michael Schumacher’s medicalrecords is preventable. It can be prevented from happening againthrough putting in place appropriate mitigation strategies. It wasreported the presence of scant security in the hospital was a majorcontributor to the occurrence of the incident. Therefore, enhancingsecurity at the hospital would help prevent the incident fromhappening again. In addition, the incident can be prevented fromhappening again through conducting a thorough investigation in orderto make arrests of the people responsible for stealing Schumacher`smedical records. Arresting and charging the criminals for damages ofleaking confidential medical files to the public would minimize thechances of recurrence of the incident. Moreover, taking legal actionagainst individuals responsible for burglary would deter others fromengaging in such activities thus preventing it (Gover,2015).
Therecurrence of the incident can be prevented by securing informationtechnology resources. This can be achieved by adopting the securitystandards and guidelines provided by the National Institute ofStandards and Technology (NIST). NIST has a distinct responsibilityof providing computer system technology security. This will help thehospital to develop security plans to improve their computer securityprograms. This can help the hospital to protect their computerscontaining confidential files of patients from being stolen or leakedto the public (Peltier, 2016).
Medicalrecords of patients hold very personal information which is privateand confidential. Stealing of Schumacher’s medical filesdemonstrated a lack of respect to his privacy as a patient and ahuman being. The medical records were stolen for sale, which wasoffered at a very high price of $50,000. Additionally, the lack ofadequate security at the hospital contributed to the occurrence ofthe incident where the thieves were able to access the building andstole the records. The incident affected Schumacher’s family, aswell as can cause financial impacts, caused inconveniences and couldruin the reputation of the hospital. The incident can be preventedfrom occurring again by adopting the NIST computer security programs,increasing security and arresting those involved in the incident.
Bond,T., & Mitchels, B. (2014). Confidentiality& Record Keeping in Counselling & Psychotherapy.SAGE. Retrieved on 4thNov. 2016 fromhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Confidentiality-Record-Keeping-Counselling-Psychotherapy/dp/1412912709
Gover,D. (2015). Michael Schumacher medical records may be on laptop stolenin raid. Retrieved on 4thNovember 2016 from:http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/machael-schumacher-medical-records-may-be-laptop-stolen-raid-1490663.
Peltier,T. R. (2016). InformationSecurity Policies, Procedures, and Standards: guidelines foreffective information security management.CRC Press. Retrieved on 4thNov. 2016 fromhttps://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Information_Security_Policies_Procedures.html?id=mM_LsS-W4f4C
Quinn,B. (2014). Michael Schumacher`s stolen `medical records` offered forsale. TheGuardian. Retrievedon 4thNov. 2016 fromhttps://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/24/europe-news-michael-schumacher