Geisinger fires employee for inappropriately accessing 700+ patients' medical records

Geisinger began notifying more than 700 patients Sept. 18 that one of the Danville, Pa.-based health system's former employees inappropriately accessed their medical records. 

A Geisinger employee alerted the health system's privacy office June 3 that another clinic employee was possibly viewing patient medical records without a business reason. Geisinger launched an investigation, which concluded Sept. 8, and found that while the employee was allowed to access medical records as part of their daily job responsibilities, they inappropriately viewed more than 700 patients' records from June 2019-20. 

The health system said the employee no longer works at Geisinger as a result of the incident. 

Patient protected health information that may have been viewed by the former employee included names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, medical record numbers, addresses and phone numbers. 

"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," Geisinger Chief Privacy Officer Jonathan Friesen said in the news release. "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."

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