PDI

Internet and PHI breach

May 12th, 2016

The Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC may have recently suffered data breach as few of its document where available on the internet. The incident may have occurred in February. According to the reports, due to Ascend Healthcare Systems mistake, a former business associate of the healthcare system, data related to 4,107 patients of Children’s National Medical Center was accessible via the Internet.

“Due to changes and upgrades to systems, a system that is secure today could become vulnerable with the next change – thus the need to repeat the vulnerability scan periodically,” says Mark Dill, former longtime CISO at the Cleveland Clinic who is now a principal consultant at tw-Security.

PHI could have been found using a search engine, like Google. Affected information includes names, dates of births, medications lists, and physicians’ notes on diagnosis and treatment. The incident occurred as the File Transfer Protocol site was misconfigured. Facility mentioned that the site was a standard network for storing and transferring files.

According to the Children’s National Medical Center, Ascend Healthcare Systems violated its contract who was required to delete all patient information as per the separation agreement.  After the incident, Ascend is advised by the Children’s Hospital Medical Center’s to delete transcription documents from its servers and secure the site.

Medical center didn’t receive any reports about inappropriate access or misuse of patient information. It has sent notification letters to affected individuals. Also, a dedicated call center was created to answer queries. Children’s National regrets any concern this incident may cause.

According to the statement:

Children’s National Health System, based in Washington, DC, has been serving the nation’s children since 1870. Children’s National is a Leapfrog Group Top Hospital, Magnet® designated, and was ranked among the top 10 pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report 2015-16. Home to the Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is one of the nation’s top NIH-funded pediatric institutions. With a community-based pediatric network, seven regional outpatient centers, an ambulatory surgery center, two emergency rooms, an acute care hospital, and collaborations throughout the region, Children’s National is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as an advocate for all children.

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