Healthcare Information Security

HIPAA Administrative Safeguards

Scottsdale Dermatology Clinic endures billing firm breach

by Patrick Ouellette

The Scottsdale Dermatology Clinic is investigating a patient data breach in which one of its medical billing firm’s employees, Brittany Davidson, and her boyfriend Winfred Aurelious Dick, Jr. used her patient data access to steal credit...

Hope Family Health reports 8,000-patient data breach

by Patrick Ouellette

Hope Family Health of Westmoreland, Tennessee is dealing with the theft of a finance department employee’s unencrypted laptop that held 8,000 patients’ personal information. Hope has notified patients who visited the organization...

Saint Louis University notifies 3,000 patients of data breach

by Patrick Ouellette

Saint Louis University (SLU) is in the process of reporting a health data breach that affected 3,000 patients and occurred in early August. According to, a few SLU employees gave out their account information by mistake as part of a...

CaroMont Health alerts 1,310 patients of data breach

by Patrick Ouellette

CaroMont Health announced Friday that it learned of an internal health data breach that involved an employee sending an unsecure email with 1,310 patients’ protected health information (PHI) on August 8 during a routine security audit....

UCSF Medical Center latest to have laptop with PHI stolen

by Patrick Ouellette

Count the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center as the most recent healthcare organization to have an unencrypted laptop stolen from an employee’s car. UCSF has already sent out letters to the 3,541 affected patients...

UnityPoint Health learns of EHR data breach during audit

by Patrick Ouellette

UnityPoint Health of West Des Moines, Iowa reported this week that it discovered unauthorized access to its EHR system during a routine audit back on August 8 that put 1,800 patients’ data at risk. The Sioux City Journal reports that a...

St. Mary’s Janesville Hospital reports health data breach

by Patrick Ouellette

After another health data breach involving theft of an unencrypted laptop was reported this week, perhaps healthcare organizations will begin taking a long look at forming strict policies regarding encrypting and storing devices that contain...

Laptop with PHI stolen from Santa Clara Valley Medical Center

by Patrick Ouellette

Santa Clara Valley Medical Center recently mailed out patient notification letters to alert them of a data breach that it discovered on September 16. According to the notification letter, an unencrypted audiology department laptop used for hearing...

Health data breaches: Gearing up for the before and after

by Patrick Ouellette

BOSTON - Though last week’s HIMSS Privacy and Security Forum keynote “Preparing Now for How to Respond to the Security Breach You Hope Never Happens” involved different perspectives on data breaches, their data breach principles...

Ohio psychologist alerts patients of data breach

by Patrick Ouellette

A Lima, Ohio clinical psychologist, Carol L. Patrick, is in the process of notifying clients that their office was robbed on August 8 and, as a result of the theft, their identities may have been compromised. reports that the thieves...

Kaiser v. Surefile breach suit dropped but questions linger

by Patrick Ouellette

In what looked to be the ending of a long, convoluted legal battle between Kaiser Permanente and Surefile File Systems that began in 2010, Surefile told last week that Kaiser’s law suit had been thrown out and the judge had granted...

Holy Cross Hospital reports 9,900-patient data breach

by Patrick Ouellette

Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. has notified 9,900-patients of a data breach that occurred between November 2011 and August 2013. According to, a Holy Cross employee accessed patient names, dates of birth, addresses...

Mercy Health Systems, Allscripts data breach details emerge

by Patrick Ouellette

The circumstances surrounding a data breach last winter at Mercy Health Systems (MHS) in Baltimore involving a lost, unencrypted Allscripts hard drive were publicized only recently, according to a report from Allscripts contracts...

OCR Director Leon Rodriguez previews HIPAA audit strategies

by Patrick Ouellette

BOSTON - Beyond just discussing how today, Sept. 23, 2013, is a critical compliance day for the HIPAA Omnibus Rule, Director of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Leon Rodriguez, paved the path...

NHC HealthCare Oak Ridge loses unencrypted backup tape

by Patrick Ouellette

NHC HealthCare of Oak Ridge, Tenn. announced a possible patient data breach after an unencrypted backup tape was lost. Though the number of patients is unknown, otentially compromised information included patient names, Social Security numbers,...

Loyola University Medical Center reports patient data breach

by Patrick Ouellette

A former Loyola University Medical Center nurse, Katrina R. Spears, was charged with felony identity theft on Sept. 8 after stealing a Loyola patient’s identity and heavily affecting her credit. Riverside, Illinois police, according to...

Patient files Carol Milgard Breast Center privacy complaint

by Patrick Ouellette

A former Carol Milgard Breast Center patient, Martha Tsuru, has filed a privacy breach complaint with the Washington State Department of Health after the Tacoma, Wash. based healthcare facility mixed in her records with three other patients’...

Kaiser Permanente notifies patients of email data breach

by Patrick Ouellette

Kaiser Permanente is alerting patients that it experienced a “human error” data breach on May 16 when an employee mistakenly emailed a spreadsheet associated with a Wellness Screening competition to a pilot planning team member who was not...

Securing patient data at the file level to thwart hackers

by Moti Rafalin

Prior to a patient even seeing a physician during an appointment, they agree to share a great amount of personal information: health insurance IDs, Social Security numbers, addresses, medical histories and more. The doctors entrusted with this...

ICS Collection Service alerts UCPG patients of data breach

by Patrick Ouellette

A University of Chicago Physicians Group (UCPG) collection agency, ICS Collection Service, sent out a press release this week to notify the media that 1, 344 UCPG patients’ protected health information (PHI) had been exposed on July 9...


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