Biometrics

Security Breach in California

January 20th, 2015

California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) mentioned in recent press release that one of its pharmacist employees possibly accessed patient records with no apparent business or treatment reason. There is possibility of data breach due to this incident. As per the policy, CMPC terminated its relationship with the pharmacist employee when the incident was discovered. CPMC audit of its electronic medical record (EMR) system revealed the probable data breach.

Affected information includes the last four digits of patient Social Security numbers, clinical information, and prescription information. CPMC notified affected 844 patients about the incident. According to the press release:

 The type of information varied for each patient. While the employee potentially viewed the last four digits of some social security numbers, the employee did not have access to full Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, California identification numbers, credit card numbers or financial account information. CPMC has no evidence of a malicious intent or any unauthorized sharing of patient information by the employee. CPMC believes that the employee accessed the information out of curiosity.

No action is required by the patients in response to CMPC’s notice.

CPMC takes patient privacy very seriously. CPMC has also reiterated to all staff that policy allows them to access patient information only when necessary to perform job duties and that violating this policy may result in loss of employment.

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