UW Medicine mistakenly exposed information on nearly one million patients



The files contain patient names, medical record numbers, a description of the shared information and a description of the people with whom they were shared, UW Medicine said in a press release.

David Gutman

The medical records of nearly one million patients at the University of Washington Medicine were visible on the Internet for at least three weeks in December, UW Medicine said.

The files, which were exposed on December 4 due to "internal human error," were internal files that the hospital system used to document when sharing information about a patient, for example with public health authorities or the police.

The files contain patient names, medical record numbers, a description of the information shared and a description of the people with whom they were shared, UW Medicine said in a press release, although in some cases the files included the name of a laboratory test name of a research study.

The hospital system said that he had discovered the error on Dec. 26 and had it immediately corrected, but Google had backed up some files. UW Medicine said they have collaborated with Google to remove the saved versions and prevent them from displaying in the search results. All backed up files were removed by Jan. 10, UW Medicine said.

The files do not include specific health information, social security numbers or financial information, UW Medicine said.

"At the present time, there is no indication that there has been any abuse or attempt to use the information revealed during this incident," said the press release of the spokesman. Susan Gregg, UW Medicine.

UW Medicine includes the University Medical School, Harborview Medical Center, UW Medical Center, Northwest Hospital and Medical Center, Valley Medical Center and more than two dozen neighborhood clinics scattered throughout the area. Puget Sound.

The hospital system said it was sending letters to about 974,000 patients whose data had been exposed.

King County Council member Reagan Dunn said he would introduce a bill calling for the creation of a commission to investigate the data breach.

"It's a data breach, but it's also a massive attack on public trust," Dunn said in a statement.

It's a story in development with more information coming soon.


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