On June 3, 2020, Geisinger’s Privacy Office was alerted by a member of the workforce that a Geisinger Clinic employee was possibly accessing medical records without a business need to do so. An investigation was started immediately and concluded on September 8, 2020. Although the employee was permitted to access medical records as part of their daily job responsibilities, the investigation found that the employee inappropriately accessed over 700 patients’ records between June 2019 and June 2020 without a valid business need. As a result of the investigation, the individual is no longer employed at Geisinger.
Additionally, we reviewed the employee’s network activities and did not find any evidence that the employee retained or removed any of the information. While the investigation did not reveal any evidence of malicious intent, the information that may have been viewed by the employee included: name, date of birth, medical record number, dates of service, social security number, address, phone number, medical conditions, diagnoses, medications, treatment information and other clinical notes.
“At Geisinger, protecting our patients’ and members’ privacy is of the utmost importance and we are constantly working on safeguards and protocols to identify incidents such as these so we can prevent such occurrences in the future,” said Geisinger Chief Privacy Officer, Jonathan Friesen. “Our investigation leads us to believe that this information was not accessed to commit financial fraud or harm; however, out of an abundance of caution we are providing affected patients one year of identity theft protection free of charge.”
Detailed credit monitoring and identity theft protection enrollment instructions were provided to affected patients in their notification letters.
For those affected by this incident, Geisinger has established a toll-free number at 844-929-2293 which is available from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) Monday through Friday.
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger College of Health Sciences, which includes schools of medicine, nursing and graduate education. With more than 25,000 employees and 1,700+ employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at geisinger.org or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.