California state hospital employee wrongfully shared 1,700+ patients' records for years

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The California Department of State Hospitals recently began notifying 1,738 patients that their personal health information was exposed by an employee who inappropriately provided it to the U.S. Eastern District of California Court, according to a Sept. 3 news release. 

The employee improperly shared the current and former Coalinga State Hospital patients' records on July 21, 2013; Oct. 12, 2016; and Aug. 27, 2019. 

The individual gave the court patient rosters, which contained patient names, case numbers, birthdates and legal commitments, among other information, to let the court clerk determine whether certain patients were eligible for waiving fees for filing a lawsuit, according to the news release. 

California's state hospitals department discovered the breach Aug. 12 when the court contacted it to request an updated patient roster. The department said the patient rosters were not released to anyone beyond the court personnel and that all copies of the rosters that exposed patients' information have been destroyed. 

 

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