Notification of Possible PHI Disclosure
May 09, 2017
NYC Health + Hospitals this week began to notify 3,494 NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island (“Coney Island”) patients about the possible unauthorized access of some of their protected health information (“PHI”). The incident was discovered on March 10, 2017, and occurred when a volunteer, who was not properly processed through the Coney Island Human Resources Department, was permitted access to patient PHI such as name, medical record number, and date of birth while performing certain functions and tasks for the hospital during the time period of December 2016 to March 2017.
There is no evidence to suggest that patient PHI has been further improperly disclosed or inappropriately used in any way. However, in an abundance of caution, patients are being advised of steps that they can take, such as reviewing their medical records for accuracy, to mitigate harm that may potentially arise from this incident.
Once discovered, the volunteer was not permitted further access to the Coney Island facility. The supervisor of the department where the volunteer performed functions was immediately suspended as a result of the incident and is no longer employed. Additionally, Coney Island has taken steps to re-educate its management staff about the proper way to process volunteers under NYC Health + Hospitals’ internal policies and procedures.
Affected patients may call 1-877-451-9365, toll-free, with any questions or concerns regarding this incident. A sample of the notification letter that has been sent to affected patients is attached.
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