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THE UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT HEALTH NETWORK - ELIZABETHTOWN COMMUNITY HOSPITAL NOTIFIES PATIENTS, EMPLOYEES OF DATA SECURITY INCIDENT
Elizabethtown, New York (December 17, 2018) – The University of Vermont Health Network - Elizabethtown Community Hospital is notifying individuals potentially affected by a recent data security incident in which, for a brief period of time, an employee’s email account was remotely accessed by an unauthorized user. The hospital completed an initial 60-day investigation of the incident and has no evidence of any fraud or identity theft to any individual as a result of this incident.
The incident, which occurred on October 9, 2018, was limited to one employee’s email account and did not involve the hospital’s computer networks or electronic medical records, nor did it involve the email or information technology systems at any of the Network’s other affiliates. Upon learning of the incident on October 18, 2018, the hospital immediately took action, including changing passwords, implementing enhanced security features and engaging a leading forensic security firm to assist with the investigation.
“We are very sorry this has happened,” said John Remillard, president for Elizabethtown Community Hospital. “We take seriously our responsibility to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the personal information of our patients and employees. To help prevent something like this from happening in the future, we have taken organization-wide steps to enhance the security of our email system, and we are reinforcing education with our staff to assure protection of patients’ information.”
Although the hospital has no evidence that any personal information was viewed or used by an unauthorized party, as part of the investigation, the hospital searched for any personal information in the email account that may have been viewed. It determined that the email account contained individuals’ personal information, including some individuals’ names, dates of birth, addresses and limited medical information; primarily information associated with billing such as medical record numbers, dates of service and a brief summary of services provided. The account also contained the Social Security numbers of some individuals.
Elizabethtown Community Hospital is notifying approximately 32,000 potentially-affected individuals. The notification will include information on steps individuals can take to protect themselves against potential fraud or identity theft. The 1,200 individuals whose Social Security numbers were included in the email account will be offered free credit and identity theft monitoring services. The hospital has also set up a dedicated call center for patients and others.
“While we haven’t determined that any individual record was accessed, we are taking a broad approach in notifying anyone who could possibly be affected by this incident so they can take proactive measures to protect their information. Through our ongoing investigation, it’s possible that we’ll find that fewer individuals were affected.” said Remillard.
If additional information becomes available, it will be posted on the hospital’s website, www.ech.org. Concerned individuals can call the dedicated call center at 1-877-845-7516 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.
About Elizabethtown Community Hospital
The University of Vermont Health Network - Elizabethtown Community Hospital is a designated critical access hospital and the primary health care provider serving the 39,000 people who live, work and vacation in Essex County, NY and the surrounding region.
Elizabethtown Community Hospital is transforming rural health care at its main campus in Elizabethtown, NY, at a new emergency department and outpatient center at the former Moses Ludington Hospital in Ticonderoga, NY, and at six community-based primary health care centers located throughout the region. The hospital is one of the community’s largest employers with 383 employees.
Across the Elizabethtown and Ticonderoga campuses, the hospital maintains two 24-hour emergency rooms, a 25-bed inpatient unit, physical therapy, laboratory, and digital radiology departments, and a variety of specialty physician clinics on a weekly and monthly basis.
Elizabethtown Community Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission and is licensed and certified by the New York State Department of Health and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
About The University of Vermont Health Network
The University of Vermont Health Network is a six-hospital system serving the residents of Vermont and northern New York with a shared vision: working together, we improve people’s lives. The affiliated hospitals include:
The University of Vermont Medical Center
The University of Vermont Health Network Medical Group
The University of Vermont Health Network – Alice Hyde Medical Center
The University of Vermont Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center
The University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital
The University of Vermont Health Network – Elizabethtown Community Hospital
The University of Vermont Health Network – Porter Medical Center
The University of Vermont Health Network – Visiting Nurses Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties
Our health care professionals are driven to provide high-quality, cost-efficient care as close to home as possible. Strengthened by our academic connection to the University of Vermont, each hospital remains committed to its local community by providing compassionate, personal care shaped by the latest medical advances and delivered by highly skilled experts.