Memorial Healthcare System, Hollywood, Fla., is notifying nearly 9,500 patients of an investigation into two former employees who inappropriately accessed patient information.
The workers, whose employment was terminated, may have sought to process false tax returns using the information, according to a statement posted Thursday on MHS' website (PDF). Information affected may have included names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers. No medical records were taken, according to the statement.
The inappropriate access took place from 2011 to early 2012, and the five-hospital system first discovered the access on Jan. 27. "Once law enforcement confirmed that we could notify our patients, we wanted to notify them as quickly as possible," the statement noted. MHS sent letters to 9,497 patients "in an abundance of caution," MHS Director of Media Relations Kerting Baldwin said in an e-mail.
"We are taking this matter very seriously and actively cooperating with law enforcement," said Baldwin, who did not provide additional information about how the information was accessed and whether MHS patient data is encrypted, citing the ongoing investigation.