Penn State Hershey notifies patients of potential information breach

Penn State Hershey Medical Center is notifying 1,800 patients of a potential medical information breach.

The information may have been accessed by individuals who were not involved in the care of the patients because of the actions of an employee, according to a news release from the medical center Friday.

The employee was authorized to access and use the information, but was working at home after hours on his personal computer and used his personal email account to send the information to two Penn State Hershey physicians, the news release stated.

There is no indication any unauthorized person viewed or accessed the information, but because the employee worked at home and outside of Penn State Hershey’s network, administrators said they cannot completely rule out the possibility.

The information is related to a type of test ordered by Penn State Hershey women’s health or family medicine clinicians, as well as other medical practitioners in the community who used Penn State Hershey laboratories for testing between August 1 and March 26, according to the news release.

The information included patient names, medical record numbers, the name of the lab test, visit dates and test results, but did not include Social Security numbers or financial information.

Penn State Hershey is attempting to reach all patients by personal letter as a precaution.

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