Anthony W. Ishii

Data accessible on third party website

December 21st, 2014

Redding, Calif.-based Mercy Medical Center found out that physician progress notes were publically accessible on a third-party website. Potentially affected patients took the treatment at Mercy Medical. Data breach doesn’t include Social Security numbers and other financial information.

The affected information includes patient names, medical record numbers, dates of birth, ages, dates of service, diagnoses, medications, review of systems, current therapies, and treatment plans.

“We sincerely regret this incident occurred and are taking appropriate measures to prevent any similar incident in the future, including continuing efforts to educate staff and physicians on securing medical information,” Michelle Kirby, Dignity Health Service Area Compliance Director mentioned on the letter which was posted on the California Attorney General’s website.

According to the reports, patients’ information is not believed to have been accessed inappropriately. Kirby suggested that patients can contact one of the three major credit bureaus and place a fraud alert on their credit file.

According to the statement, Mercy Medical simply explained that “Upon discovery the third party removed the link from their website rendering the information no longer accessible.”

Points to be considered:

  • Facilities should be active in implementation of security measures
  • All aspects of security should be considered instead of focusing on one
  • Proper training of the staff

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