VCU Health System notifies patients of improper access to information
Investigation indicates no malicious intent
Friday, July 6, 2018
VCU Health System is notifying about 4,700 individuals that their or their minor child’s electronic health information was inappropriately accessed. There is no indication that the private health information has been or will be used for any malicious purposes.
The matter came to light on May 9, 2018, when an unusual pattern of accessing electronic health information was detected.
Following an investigation and review of access audit logs, the health system confirmed that an employee accessed, without legitimate business reasons, information about patients and services they received at the VCU Health System. As a result of this incident, the employee has been terminated.
The inappropriate access happened generally during the employee’s employment between Jan. 3, 2003 and May 10, 2018. The investigation indicated the electronic health information was viewed without malicious intent. However, it is the VCU Health System’s responsibility to notify affected patients that the incidents happened.
Information that may have been viewed includes the patients’ full names, home addresses, dates of birth, medical record numbers, health care providers, visit dates, health insurance information and other medical information. In some instances, Social Security numbers also could have been viewed.
VCU Health System is staffing a toll-free line for patient questions at (877) 846-9080, Mondays through Fridays, from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. The health system also is providing one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services to assist patients whose Social Security numbers were accessed. Instructions have been provided to all affected patients for placing a fraud alert, freezing a credit file, obtaining a free credit report and protecting health information.
About VCU and VCU Health
Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 217 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Thirty-eight of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health brand represents the VCU health sciences academic programs, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center and Level I trauma center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit www.vcu.edu and vcuhealth.org.