Catherine Varnum reports that Baptist Primary Care is sending out hundreds of warnings to patients after a former worker was caught with private patient records:
It’s an alert patients didn’t want to get: Their personal identity found in a former Baptist employee’s car. Action News was first tipped off to the potential security breach on a Facebook forum. A woman said she received a letter from Baptist Primary Care detailing that 13 files were found in the hands of that former employee just last month. The woman also wrote that her identity had recently been stolen. A Baptist spokesperson told Action News the files were found in a former employee’s car during a traffic stop in Georgia.
Read more on WJAX.
In related coverage, FirstCoastNews notes that the patients’ names, dates of birth, and Social Security Numbers may have been obtained between the dates of August 31, 2011 and November 3, 2011. And Jacksonville.com reports that the former employee did not access medical information.
Baptist Primary Care has set up a website and a toll-free hotline, (877) 403-0276, to answer patient questions.
The statement on their site reads:
Patient Notice: Privacy Incident
At Baptist Primary Care (BPC), the well-being of our patients is our number one priority, and we are committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of patient information. Regrettably, this notice concerns an incident that has the potential to affect some of our patients.
Notice to Baptist Primary Care Patients Regarding Privacy Incident
On October 21, 2014, law enforcement advised BPC that, during a routine traffic stop, they obtained a list of 13 BPC patients in the possession of a former BPC employee. The patients’ names, together with their dates of birth and Social Security Numbers, were on the list.
Once we learned about this, we immediately began our own investigation to find out how this happened, and we determined that the employee may have accessed a limited number of patients’ information outside normal job duties between August 31, 2011 and November 3, 2011, in violation of BPC’s privacy policies. This information may have included patients’ names, dates of birth, and Social Security Numbers. It did not include any patient medical record information.
Even though there is no indication that any of our patients’ personal information has been used improperly, we began mailing letters to potentially affected patients on November 20, 2014, and have established a dedicated call center to answer any questions they may have.
Questions? Call toll-free:
Monday through Saturday
9 a.m. and 9 p.m. (Eastern Time)
If you believe you may have been affected but do not receive a letter by December 11, 2014, please call our dedicated call center.
We deeply regret this situation and any inconvenience it may cause our patients. To help prevent this type of situation from happening again, BPC continues to work to enhance the security of our patients’ information and is re-educating our staff to emphasize our privacy policies and procedures to safeguard patient information.
We also continue to work and cooperate with law enforcement in its investigation.