Marketing firm acquires patient names and address

July 28th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

In an unprecedented event, Essentia Health of Fargo, North Dakota, has suffered data breach due to educational event. A marketing firm was able to access 430 patient names and addresses without their consent. Incident occurred when someone from the Essentia gave portable device containing patient data to the firm, Get Marketing. Essentia chief compliance and privacy officer Vicki Clevenger maintained that no patient medical data had been compromised.

“We have also taken the appropriate actions according to our policies and have provided additional education to the staff members involved to prevent future occurrences,” Clevenger said to “There was no additional information shared, including no medical and clinical information,” Clevenger added.

When Essentia was sending patients information to a free educational event that offered new procedures for those dealing with lower back pain, the breach occurred. In all 70 patients attended the event, but Essentia did recognize that a breach had occurred when the event was being promoted. Jodine Wien, a Moorhead patient, complained to Essentia when she found that her name and address had been given to Get Marketing that was involved in sending out the invitations.

“I’m a little angry at Essentia,” Wien said Monday, adding that she was displeased with the health provider’s initial responses to her complaint. “I was treated completely rudely and nobody wanted to say anything.”

Essentia determined that patients’ names and mailing addresses were “erroneously” released to Get Marketing, which was “engaged and paid by a medical device manufacturer, not Essentia Health,” Clevenger wrote Wien.

Get your personal as well as office laptops encrypted by Alertsec

Unencrypted laptops present a major risk of data loss. 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other equipment. About 50% of network intrusions are performed with credentials gathered from lost or stolen devices. The penalties for a data breach are severe not only in terms of the monetary fines imposed on the organization, but also the potential loss of trust from customers and suppliers. Encryption software greatly enhances the security of your organization’s data as the information is not compromised if a laptop is lost or stolen.

Alertsec Xpress is the full disk encryption service that delivers a mobile data protection system for all information stored on laptops used throughout your organization.

Leave a Reply