Archive for January, 2015

Discharge Paper work causes data breach

January 4th, 2015

Around 20 patients suffered data breach when their medical information was passed to other patient along with her discharge papers. The breach in Medical Center of Aurora apparently gave Karen Billings seven pages of operating room records after her hospital release.

The information contained Protected Health Information (PHI) for other patients. The data also included patient names, dates of birth, the doctor’s name, the procedure done, and the prescribed medication.

“I was shocked. I was mad. I was hurt that I had somebody else’s information,” Billings said.  “I wouldn’t want my stuff out there.”

In a statement, the healthcare organization said that it takes the protection of patients’ private information very seriously.

“We were made aware that one day’s surgery schedule was mistakenly given to a patient on November 22nd and, per policy, our Facility Privacy Official immediately began an internal investigation and we are notifying the affected patients,” the statement read. “We are committed to protecting the privacy of our patients and are reviewing internal procedures to determine additional safeguards we should implement.”

The affected individuals were shocked to get the data breach information from media rather than Medical Center of Aurora itself.

“If the doctor knew about it, the administrators knew about it, the hospital knew about it, then they should’ve been proactive instead of waiting, trying to hide it,” Scott Anderson told the news station.

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Cyber Security breach affects 485K USPS Workers

January 2nd, 2015

The breach in United States Postal Service (USPS) has affected around 750, 000 employees, as well as the data of 2.9 million customers. According to the reports, breach also potentially compromised 485,000 employees’ health information. Injury diagnoses, procedure codes, and the physical location of bodily harm were possibly exposed in the breach.

The affected information also includes names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers. The affected individuals include employees, former employees, and retirees who filed for workers compensation.

“The Postal Service took steps to obtain current addresses for as many affected employees as possible through private contractors who used, among other sources, the Postal Service’s own National Change of Address database,” USPS spokesman David Partenheimer said in a statement.

Partenheimer also told that all employees, former employees and retirees whose medical information may have been exposed received a notification letter last month.

According to the statement:

“The privacy and security of employee and customer data is of the utmost importance to us. Despite devoting a lot of time and attention to the security of our information systems, the Postal Service joins the list of major companies and government agencies that have had similar cyber intrusions,” the company said in its November statement. “The remediation efforts we took to address the cyber breach have resulted in an even stronger system to protect our data.”

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