uwmedicine1Personal information of about 90,000 patients of Harborview Medical Center and University of Washington Medical Center was exposed after a malware incident last month.

UW Medicine, an umbrella organization that oversees Harborview and regional health clinics, disclosed the data breach in a press release this week, noting that it occurred after an employee opened an email attachment that contained malicious software.

The FBI is now investigating, and UW medicine is reviewing its internal policies.

Data about patients may have included: name, medical record number, other demographics (which may include address, phone number), dates of service, charge amounts for services received at UW Medicine, Social Security Number or HIC (Medicare) number, date of birth.

Here’s the full release from UW Medicine.

In early October 2013, a UW Medicine employee opened an email attachment that contained malicious software (malware). The malware took control of the computer, which had patient data stored on it. UW Medicine staff discovered this incident the following day and immediately took measures to prevent any further malicious activity.

Based on the results of an internal investigation, it is believed that patient information was not sought or targeted. However, the malware accessed the data files of roughly 90,000 Harborview Medical Center and University of Washington Medical Center patients.

The incident was referred to the FBI, and patients may be contacted by the FBI as part of its investigation. UW Medicine has also implemented a review, training and outreach effort as a result of this incident.

Data about patients may have included: name, medical record number, other demographics (which may include address, phone number), dates of service, charge amounts for services received at UW Medicine, Social Security Number or HIC (Medicare) number, date of birth.

The affected patients will receive direct mail correspondence from UW Medicine. In addition, a vendor (ID Experts) will be managing a call center on behalf of UW Medicine. Beginning November 29th, the call center hours are 6 AM-6 PM Pacific Standard Time, Monday-Friday. The toll-free phone number is 1-877-271-1533, (International callers, please call 503-597-7682).

UW Medicine is committed to providing quality care and protecting patients’ personal information, and sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience and concern this may be for affected patients.

About UW Medicine

UW Medicineʼs mission is to improve the health of the public by advancing medical knowledge, providing patient care, and training the next generation of health professionals. Our system includes Harborview Medical Center, Northwest Hospital & Medical Center, Valley Medical Center, UW Medical Center, UW Neighborhood Clinics, UW Physicians, UW School of Medicine and Airlift Northwest.

Comments

  • Albert M. Williams

    Seattle hospital discloses malware attack that exposes 90,000 patient records

    Is shocking news we need the justice for that.It will never happen again in any

    other hospital, usa government want to take a necessary step about it.

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