Sentara Healthcare data breach affects 5k patients

A breach of a third party vendor for Norfolk, Va.-based Sentara Healthcare impacted more than 5,000 Sentara patients, according to

The breach may have compromised the names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, demographic information, medical record numbers, procedure information and medication information of 5,454 vascular and thoracic patients seen at Sentara hospitals in Virginia between 2012 and 2015.

Sentara Healthcare discovered the breach on Nov. 17, 2016, and sent notification letters to affected patients. It has also set up a toll-free number to answer patients' questions.

"Sentara is working with law enforcement, the vendor and a leading cybersecurity firm to investigate the incident," Sentara wrote in a release sent to Becker's Hospital Review. "To prevent something like this from happening in the future, the vendor has informed Sentara that it is enhancing its system security. In addition, Sentara continually strengthens policies and procedures and invests in technologies which protect our information technology systems."

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