Hillsborough Health Department: Breach of up to 311 clients' information

Taylor Katz reports that Hillsborough County Health Dept. issued a press release about a breach. The notice is not readily available on the department’s web site at the time of this posting, but as posted by WSTP.com:

“The Hillsborough County Health Department is informing the public about a breach of client information.  The breach of information occurred when an employee intentionally printed documents that included client data and removed them from our facility on, or about February 15, 2012.  The personal information that was stolen may have been used in fraudulent activity. The stolen documents included client information for up to 311 clients.

The information on the documents included demographic information such as individuals’ full name, date of birth, Social Security number, phone number, patient identification numbers, as well as, protected health information such as type of visit.  No financial information was included in the documentation that was stolen.

Through the investigation, it was determined that 187 client’s personal information had been stolen, and another 104 clients may have had their information stolen.  Letters were sent to both groups informing them their personal information had been stolen, or may have been stolen, and what they could do to protect their identity.

“Unfortunately, we don’t know how the compromised client information was used, and we don’t know what the direct impact will be for individual clients,” said Steve Huard, Hillsborough County Health Department, public information officer.  “However, out of an abundance of caution, the Hillsborough County Health Department is in the process of contracting with ALLCLEAR ID Network to provide credit monitoring services to those individuals whose personal information was compromised.”

The Hillsborough County Health Department was notified of the potential breach on May 25, 2012.  Working with the Office of the Inspector General for the Florida Department of Health, we conducted a thorough internal investigation, identified the individual who was responsible for the breach, and have taken corrective administrative actions to reduce the risk of this type of theft happening in the future.

The employee who was responsible for the theft of information has been dismissed, and the case was referred to local law enforcement.

The security of patient information is of critical importance to the department.  The State of Florida, the Florida Department of Health, and Hillsborough County Health Department is fully committed to safeguarding all confidential information.

 

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