Stevens Hospital said the private records of more than 500 patientsincluding their Social Security numberswere inadvertently allowed to be accessed on the internet recently.
Officials at the 156-bed Edmonds, Wash., hospital said the information was available on the Web "following a lapse in a subcontractor's computer security." They added that the privacy of the patients' records has been restored and that the information available included names and addresses of patients, but not credit card information.
The hospital didn't specify how long the records were available to search engines and officials said they're contacting patients affected by the security problem.
"We regret any concerns or inconvenience this incident may cause" patients, said Mike Carter, the hospital's president and chief executive officer, in a news release.
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