Bryan Health notifies some patients of 2020 breach of private records – Lincoln Journal Star

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Bryan Health notifies some patients of 2020 breach of private records




The recent intrusion into U.S. computer systems may not affect individual Americans, but it should motivate us to increase our computer security. Source by: Stringr


Bryan Health has notified an unknown number of patients about a privacy breach.

According to a letter the health system sent to affected people last week, a staff member accessed information in the electronic medical records system "without a treatment purpose or other job-related reason."

Bryan said in the letter that records accessed included names and other personal information, as well as medical records, but not Social Security numbers or financial information.

It said in the letter that the breach occurred in September 2020 but was not discovered until August of this year.

"We deeply regret that this incident occurred," the letter said. "The actions were contrary to our organization's policies and are not consistent with the expectations we place on all of our staff to protect personal information."

The letter said the employee who accessed the information no longer works at Bryan.

A spokesman for Bryan said he could not comment on how many people were affected, and he offered no other details beyond what was in the letter.

Data breaches at health care organizations are on the rise, with the 2021 Identity Breach Report noting a more than 50% increase in the volume of records affected in 2020 compared with 2019.

Most data breaches at hospitals and other health care organizations involve outside actors hacking into computer systems, sending suspicious emails or making phone calls to patients in a fraudulent attempt to obtain health data.

Last month, Sidney Regional Medical Center in western Nebraska received reports from some of its patients that they were being asked to provide health data over the phone, purportedly as part of a survey sanctioned by the hospital, which was not the case.

In another case, Nebraska Medicine and the University of Nebraska Medical Center notified more than 200,000 patients and staff members in February that their personal information may have been compromised in a malware attack that occurred sometime in August or September of 2020.

Nebraska Medicine also reported an incident in 2019 similar to the one at Bryan, where an employee accessed patient medical information without having a legitimate reason to do so.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or [email protected]

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