Nearly 2,000 patients at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center are being notified that an employee unnecessarily accessed their private health information.
The Vancouver medical center discovered on Aug. 9 that the employee accessed electronic files containing protected health information, including patient names, ages, medical record and account numbers, admission and discharge dates, progress notes and diagnosis.
Patient Social Security numbers and financial information were not accessed, the company said, and PeaceHealth officials do not believe any affected patients are at risk for identity theft.
An investigation revealed the employee accessed patient information between November 2011 and July 2017. The employee no longer works for PeaceHealth.
PeaceHealth began sending out letters to the 1,969 affected patients on Monday.
“We sincerely apologize to patients for any concern or inconvenience this has caused,” PeaceHealth officials said in a statement. “Patient privacy is among our highest priorities at PeaceHealth, and we take this very seriously.”