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Press Releases

Notification of Possible Compromised PHI

Nov 29, 2022

NYC Health + Hospitals has begun notifying 2,174 patients about the potential compromise of some of their protected health information (PHI), which occurred on or around June 30, 2022.  NYC Health + Hospitals discovered the possible compromise of PHI on July 19, 2022.  The potential compromise of PHI resulted from a missing defective hard drive that had been removed from a visual field testing device at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull (“Woodhull”).  The PHI contained on the hard drive included patients’ names, dates of birth, medical record numbers and visual field test results.  No financial information or other personal identifiers were on the hard drive.

There is no evidence to suggest that the PHI has been misused in any manner.  In addition, because the hard drive was not found, NYC Health + Hospitals has been unable to determine whether the PHI on it is accessible.  In an abundance of caution, however, NYC Health + Hospitals is notifying all individuals affected by this incident.

NYC Health + Hospitals is taking a number of steps in response to this incident.  First, NYC Health + Hospitals is ensuring that staff are educated on the policy of the proper chain of custody for devices containing PHI when they are taken out of service.  Second, in order to minimize any potential future compromise of PHI, NYC Health + Hospitals has begun implementing a data removal process for the visual field testing device to ensure that data is removed on a regular basis.  Third, NYC Health + Hospitals will enhance its training to ensure that all staff are aware of the need to promptly notify the OCC of any incident in which patients’ PHI might be compromised.  

In addition to what NYC Health + Hospitals is doing, you may wish to review your medical record to determine its accuracy and completeness.  It is important to note that, at this time, there is no evidence that your PHI has been used for any inappropriate purpose.  However, we do want you to be fully aware of the situation and encourage you to remain vigilant for any potential fraud or identity theft incidents.

Affected individuals are invited to call toll free 1-855-504-3827 from 9:00 am to 6:30 pm (Eastern Standard Time), Monday through Friday, with any questions or related concerns.  

Consistent with federal regulatory requirements, NYC Health + Hospitals is notifying the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

For more information, please contact pressoffice@nychhc.org.