Kansas hospital disables vaccine scheduling tool after unauthorized individuals breach system

Stormont Vail Health is investigating whether individuals not associated with the Topeka, Kan.-based health system and who are not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine were immunized due to a "mishap" with its online vaccination scheduling tool, The Topeka Capital-Journal reports.

In its daily COVID-19 update email Jan. 11, Stormont announced that it recently discovered that its private electronic vaccine scheduling site had been shared with individuals who are not affiliated with the health system and do not meet the state's first phase criteria of being a healthcare worker to receive the vaccine, according to the report.

Stormont disabled the vaccination scheduling link in response to the incident while it investigates the breach, and during a Zoom media briefing Jan. 12, Stormont Vail Health President and CEO Robert Kenagy said that while unlikely, it is possible that some of these ineligible individuals may have been vaccinated.

"We believe that no one was really able to, through this mishap, get a vaccine outside of the guidelines as they exist currently, but we're working through it," Mr. Kenagy said. "So we're not 100 [percent] sure."

Stormont is reviewing the scheduled vaccine appointments and advising those who do not meet the current criteria that they cannot be vaccinated yet. The health system will now require that each individual requesting a vaccine provide proof of their employment as a healthcare worker, which Stormont was not doing before the breach.

Mr. Kenagy said it is possible that the electronic vaccine scheduling system sent out to Stormont employees was breached by staff forwarding it to people outside the organization, such as family members or friends.

Editor's note: Becker's Hospital Review has reached out to Stormont Vail Health regarding the incident and will update this article when more information becomes available.

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