Orlando Health notifying patients after uncovering unauthorized employee access to protected health information

The following substitute notice was posted on Orlando Health’s web site:

Notice Regarding Unauthorized Access

The privacy and confidentiality of our patient’s health information is of the utmost importance to Orlando Health. Regrettably, this notice is regarding a recent incident involving that information.

On May 27, 2015, while conducting a routine patient record access audit we learned that a certified nursing assistant at Orlando Health was accessing patient records outside their current job responsibilities. We immediately removed the employee’s system access and commenced an investigation. We have been unable to determine the exact information that the employee viewed or the reason for the access. The employee accessed patients’ electronic medical record which may have included patients’ names, dates of birth, addresses, medications, medical tests and results, other clinical information, and the last four digits of social security numbers. In a limited number of patients, the employee may have also accessed insurance information. Based upon our investigation, the employee was terminated by Orlando Health.

This incident did not affect all patients treated at Orlando Health, but only certain patients treated at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, Dr. P. Phillips Hospital and a limited number of patients treated at Orlando Regional Medical Center, from January 2014 to May 2015.

While we have no evidence that the information has been used in any way or removed from the hospital, we wanted to notify affected individuals of this incident and let them know that we take it very seriously.

As a precaution, Orlando Health began sending letters to affected patients on July 2, 2015. If you believe you are affected and you do not receive a letter by July 15, please call 1-866-910-5602 Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 9:00 ET Eastern Time. Orlando Health is also encouraging the limited number of individuals who may have had their insurance information accessed to review the explanation of benefits document they receive from the health insurer to verify it does not include any services they did not receive. If it does, they should contact their insurer immediately.

Orlando Health is committed to protecting the privacy and security of protected health information. We are continually evaluating and modifying our practices and the practices of our employees to enhance the security and privacy of all confidential and protected health information entrusted to us. We are also re-educating our workforce members and increasing our already vigilant program of auditing and monitoring of patient record access.

Paul Brinkmann of The Orlando Sentinel reports that 3,200 patients were affected by this incident.

This is not the first incident involving Orlando Health that has been reported on this site and PHIprivacy.net.  In February 2013, we learned that an employee of Mid-Florida Urological Associates had been improperly accessing patient information from Orlando Health, In March 2014, there was a report involving a missing flash drive, and in May of this year, we learned that Orlando Health was sending out letters to patients whose protected health information was on a patient list found in a driveway.

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