Insecure email puts more than a thousand NC patients at risk

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An employee with North Carolina-based CaroMont Health sent out an insecure email containing personal information on more than 1,300 patients.

How many victims? 1,310.

What type of personal information? Names, dates of birth, addresses, telephone numbers, medical record numbers, diagnoses, last dates of service, medications and insurance company names. Medicare numbers were included for two patients.

What happened? A CaroMont Health employee did not follow procedure and inadvertently sent an insecure email as part of a patient care coordination process.

What was the response? CaroMont Health is retraining staff on privacy policies. Affected patients are being notified by letter.

Details: CaroMont Health learned of the incident during a routine security systems audit on Aug. 8.

Quote: “Based on the information gathered through the investigation, there is no reason to believe that the email was intercepted or received by anyone other than the intended recipient, and there is little immediate risk to health or financial information,” according to a CaroMont Health statement.

Source: gastongazette.com, Gaston Gazette, “CaroMont Health reveals security breach,” Oct. 4, 2013.

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