Lubbock Cardiology Clinic security breach in electronic health records

Ellysa Gonzalez reports:

The Lubbock Cardiology Clinic bought an advertisement on the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal website to announce a security breach in its Electronic Health Record system.

The advertisement reads, “To the patients of Lubbock Cardiology Clinic, it is with regret that I must inform you of an unauthorized access into the HER (sic) containing our medical records on Dec. 15 –Jan. 30.”

It prompts readers to click on the ad for further information.

The link contains a short letter claiming to be from Dr. Guy Wells, president of Lubbock Cardiology Clinic.

Over 1,400 medical records were affected, the advertisement reads.

“This access viewed, copied, downloaded and exported medical records and patient demographics (names, addresses, phone numbers and social security numbers) without our approval,” it reads. “We are vigorously seeking answers and recovery of this information, and I am confident that we will be successful.”

Read more on LubbockOnline.  I wasn’t able to find the advertisement on their site, but I was able to locate a copy of the notice in the April 4 issue of  Current-Argus:

To the patients of Lubbock Cardiology Clinic: It is with regret that I must inform you of an unauthorized access into the EHR (electronic health record) containing our medical records. In spite of using aggressive and up to date tools to prevent this unauthorized access, we find that over 1400 of our medical records were affected. This unauthorized access took place from about Dec. 15, 2013, to Jan. 30, 2014. This access viewed, copied, downloaded, and exported medical records and patient demographics (names, addresses, phone numbers, and social security numbers) without our approval. We are vigorously seeking answers and recovery of this information, and I am confident that we will be successful. If you wish to discover if your personal information has been affected, please call our toll free number and ask for the privacy officer or office manager at 1-888-649-3557. We hope that this act will not affect your trust and confidence you have displayed in our organization over the last 17 years.

How can they be so confident that they will be successful if the data were exported? Was this an insider breach? I’m not sure what they mean by “vigorously seeking answers.” Did they call in a forensics firm? Has the breach been reported to law enforcement? And what are they doing to prevent this from happening again? I hope their notification letter to patients contains more information than this notice. The group does not have to seem a website, so I’ve not found any additional information online.

If any reader receives a notification letter on this breach, please forward it to admin[at]phiprivacy[dot]com.

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