UW medical files with patient data exposed online for three weeks in December

Saturday, February 23, 2019

UW Shoreline Clinic at Aurora Village
The University of Washington is one of the major medical providers in the area.

UW Medicine includes the medical school, Harborview, UW Medical Center, Northwest Hospital and Medical Center, Valley Medical Center, and over two dozen neighborhood clinics.

There is a Shoreline clinic in Aurora Village and a Lake Forest Park clinic in Town Center. Northwest Hospital is the main hospital serving the area.

The medical files of almost a million patients were visible on the internet from December 4 to December 26, 2018 after they transferred data from one server to another.

A patient discovered their own file online with a Google search and notified the hospital.

The UW says that "At this time, there is no evidence that there has been any misuse or attempted use of the information exposed in this incident."

UW Lake Forest Park Clinic

The files contained patients’ names, medical record numbers, and a description and purpose of the information. The files did not contain any medical records, patient financial information or Social Security numbers.

The UW will be sending notification letters to approximately 974,000 affected patients and have hired a trusted vendor, ID Experts, to manage a call center and website on behalf of UW Medicine beginning February 20. The call center hours are 5am to 5pm, Pacific Standard Time, Monday-Friday. The toll-free number is 844.322.8234.

We regret that this incident occurred and sincerely apologize for any distress this may cause our patients and their families. UW Medicine is committed to providing quality care while protecting patients’ personal information. We are reviewing our internal protocols and procedures to prevent this from happening again.


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