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Virginia Health System Acknowledges Data Breach

June 5, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Bon Secours Hampton Roads Health System, a seven-hospital system based in Suffolk, Va., has announced that they are proactively contacting former patients via letters on behalf of Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital to inform them of an electronic medical records security breach.

The security breach, which occurred between April 2012 and April 2013, has potentially compromised the records of 5,000 patients, Lynne Zultanky, administrative director, marketing and public relations of the health system, said in a statement to The Daily Press in Virginia.

During an April 2013 audit of a patient’s medical record, the health system identified suspicious access that prompted an investigation. The investigation revealed that two members of the patient care team accessed patients’ medical records in a manner that was inconsistent with their job functions and hospital procedures, and inconsistent with the training they received regarding appropriate access of patient medical records, according to officials from the health system.

The information accessed by these employees included one or more of the following: patient name; dates and times of service; provider and facility names; internal hospital medical record and account numbers, which may have included social security number; date of birth; and treatment information, such as diagnosis, medications and vital signs.

The health system became concerned that the access to the medical records possibly indicated unlawful behavior and contacted law enforcement to assist with the investigation. Local and federal law enforcement agencies have formed The Peninsula Task Force to work with Bon Secours to thoroughly investigate this matter and to determine if any patient information may have been used illegally. The employees involved in this incident have been terminated.

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