CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Roper St. Francis Healthcare said on Thursday 6,000 patients may have been involved in a privacy incident back on June.
According to a news release, Roper St. Francis Healthcare is mailing letters to patients whose information could have been involved in an incident unauthorized access to an employee’s email account.
RSFH learned about the incident on July 8 and said an unauthorized individual gained access to an employee’s email account between June 13 and 17.
“RSFH immediately took steps to secure the email account, began an internal review, and engaged a leading forensic security firm to conduct a thorough investigation,” said RSFH. “The firm’s investigation determined that patients’ information, which may have included their names, dates of birth, medical records or patient account numbers, and/or limited clinical or treatment information, such as providers’ names, diagnoses, and/or procedure information, may have been viewed by the unauthorized individual.”
In a limited number of instances, patients’ health insurance information and/or Social Security numbers were also included in the account.
The incident did not affect all RSFH patients and only those whose information was included in the affected email account.
RSFH has established a dedicated, toll-free call center to answer questions that individuals may have about the incident. Beginning tomorrow, September 4, Patients with questions can call 1-888-498-0916, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
For the patients whose Social Security numbers were included in the email account, RSFH is offering complimentary credit monitoring and identity protection services. RSFH also recommends that affected patients review statements they receive from their health insurers or healthcare providers. If patients see services not received, they should contact their insurer or provider immediately.
To help prevent this from happening again, RSFH is enhancing its email security and providing continued education to staff on email protection.