Breach, Data Security

Tampa General Hospital breach impacts hundreds of patients

Nearly 700 patients who were treated at Tampa General Hospital from October 2011 to August 2014 are being notified that their personal information – including Social Security numbers, in some instances – may have been accessed, without authorization, by a former employee.

How many victims? 675. 

What type of personal information? Names, addresses, dates of birth, admitting diagnoses, names of insurance payers, and, in some instances, Social Security numbers.

What happened? The personal information may have been accessed by a former employee.

What was the response? Tampa General Hospital terminated the employee. Technology has been implemented that blocks patient information based on an employee's job description, including limiting access to patients' Social Security numbers. All impacted individuals are being notified.

Details: Tampa General Hospital was notified by the Tampa Police Department on Aug. 14 that hospital documents were obtained during a traffic stop and arrest of an individual. The arrested individual was not a hospital staffer, but the information was traced back to the former employee who was not supposed to be accessing the records.

Quote: “To help prevent this from happening in the future, we continually communicate to our staff on the importance of protecting and securing patient information; emphasizing the importance of reporting any unusual staff behavior as we enhance procedures to prevent and detect misuse of patient information,” according to a notification posted to the Tampa General Hospital website.

Source:, “Notice for Tampa General Hospital Patients Regarding Privacy Incident,” Sept. 4, 2014;, “Hundreds of TGH patients affected by data breach,” Sept. 12, 2014.

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