Sentara taking action to protect patients after security breach

Posted at 7:17 PM, Jan 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-02 19:17:33-05

Sentara Healthcare System is taking action to protect its patients after someone stole a contractor’s laptop in California.

“Fortunately, the amount of information was limited to patients’ names, medications and date of births. There was no financial information involved, no social security numbers or insurance information,” said Greg Burkhart, the Chief Privacy Officer for Sentara.

Burkhart tells NewsChannel 3 that he does not believe any personal data has been accessed or used improperly since the security breach. But the contractor, Omnicell Inc., is still notifying patients through a letter out of caution.

“We’ve been working with them [Omnicell] since they advised us of the incident. They [Omnicell] have changed security protocols, they’ve provided employee information and updated security policies. They’ve [Omnicell] been working with us to get to the bottom of this incident and advised everyone that needs to know,” Burkhart said.

Anyone treated between October 18th and November 9th at any of Sentara’s seven hospitals and three outpatient care centers in our area may have been affected.

Ominicell is also now requiring all contractors and vendors to use encryption software when accessing patient information as part of an agreement with Sentara.

“We trust that this problem will not occur again,” said Burkhart.

The letters were mailed to all affected patients beginning this week. If you do not receive a letter by January 21 or still have some concerns, you can call 1-855-755-8482 and enter the reference code 6236121712.

Click here for more information.