NOTICE OF UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO HEALTH INFORMATION
The purpose of this notice is to inform our patients about the recent discovery of unauthorized access to certain private health information. On April 27, 2012, Dr. Peller became suspicious of a potential breach, after learning that an individual who was doing work for him (unrelated to the dental practice) may have accessed patient names, addresses, and telephone numbers after gaining unauthorized access to a desktop computer at our dental office. It was Dr. Peller’s understanding that this individual accessed the computer on or about April 22. In response to this unauthorized activity, the individual was terminated and Dr. Peller launched an investigation to determine the extent of the information breach.
As a result of the internal investigation, on June 6, 2012 we learned that in addition to creating a list of patient names, addresses, and telephone numbers, this individual also created a separate list that included additional information, namely patient identification numbers, dates of birth, treatment dates, and in some cases, email addresses. Importantly, aside from treatment dates, at no time was any other treatment related data accessed. Again, it is important to note that while this individual gained access to certain patient information, at no point did he gain access to treatment notes, x-rays, or any other actual treatment information.
We take our responsibility to protect your private information very seriously, and have taken steps to ensure that this type of incident never happens again. Passwords have been strengthened and software has been installed to more tightly secure computer terminals when they are left unattended. We have also engaged an outside company to review our existing security protocols and suggest additional ways we can strengthen them. Dr. Peller has taken legal action to confirm that all printed copies of the stolen information have been returned or destroyed and that all electronic copies of the information have similarly been identified and destroyed.
While we believe there is a low probability that the accessed information will be used against you, we strongly advise that our patients monitor their personal accounts and free credit reports for any suspicious activity. The major consumer reporting agencies can be contacted at the following numbers:
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
P.O. Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013-0949
P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
You can also obtain information from the following sources about preventing identity theft:
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
North Carolina Attorney General’s Office
9001 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-9001
Should you have any questions or would like to learn additional information, please contact us at (336) 759-0651. You can also contact us at email@example.com or 7842 North Point Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27106.
Yours very truly,
Dr. Bruce G. Peller and Dr. Paula Henao