Long Island Jewish Forest Hills Notifies Patients Potentially Affected by Former Employee Unauthorized Access to Electronic Medical Records


QUEENS, NY – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – The Long Island Forest Hills Jewish Hospital (“LIJFH”) announced today that it has notified patients potentially affected by a former employee’s unauthorized access to electronic medical records. LIJFH has taken steps to address this issue and offers credit monitoring to any patient who may have been affected.

As a backdrop, on January 24, 2020, a subpoena was issued to request documents in connection with an investigation into a “no-fault” motor vehicle accident insurance plan. After receiving this summons, LIJFH reviewed the matter and determined that a former employee named in the summons had inappropriately accessed certain electronic medical records. To date, LIJFH has no evidence that the information to which the former employee had access was used inappropriately or had anything to do with the insurance plan that was under investigation. However, out of prudence, the LIJFH has decided to inform all patients whose medical records were consulted by the former employee of LIJFH through its medical records system during the period during which the former employee had access to the records of patients (23 August 2016 until 31 October 2017). LIJFH makes these notifications regardless of whether the patient was involved in a motor vehicle accident. The LIJFH fully cooperated in the investigation, which consisted in following the instructions of the police to delay the notification of any patient potentially affected by the program until August 5, 2021.

Patient information to which the former employee had access did not include credit card numbers or any other payment related information. It may have included information from one or more of the following categories: (1) Demographic type information such as patient name, date of birth, address, phone number, insurance information, internal medical file number and / or, in some cases, a Social Security number; and (2) clinical information such as the name of the place of treatment, the name of the treatment provider, the date (s) of service, the reason for the visit, a brief summary of the patient’s medical history, a list of the patient’s medications. patient, patient test results, patient diagnoses and / or other treatment-related information. Potentially affected patients are offered one year of free credit monitoring and identity protection services, unless a longer period is required by applicable state law.

What we do.

In addition to confirming that the employee was no longer employed by LIJFH, steps were taken to try to prevent this type of incident from happening again in the future. Additional security tools have been implemented to monitor access to medical records applications. In addition, all employees receive ongoing training on the importance of respecting patient privacy and targeted retraining of frontline staff has been provided. Finally, the Compliance Department performs audits of access to medical files in order to minimize the risk of such incidents recurring in the future.

As an added precaution, Experian IdentityWorksSM was retained to protect the patient’s identity for one year at no cost to potentially affected patients, or longer, as required by applicable state law.

This notice is provided in accordance with the media notice requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Liability Act, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic Health Act and clinical. LIJFH has notified affected patients and will notify relevant regulatory agencies, including the US Department of Health and Human Services.

About the Long Island Jewish Forest Hills

Long Island Jewish Forest Hills, a 312-bed community teaching hospital serving ethnically diverse communities in North Queens, provides high-quality, compassionate health care with sensitivity and respect for the cultural needs of patients and their families. A state-designated stroke center, the hospital’s emergency department treats approximately 55,000 patients per year. The hospital offers a range of medical and procedural services, including general, bariatric, orthopedic, colorectal, breast, gynecological and robotic surgeries, as well as comprehensive cardiac diagnostic, outpatient and inpatient imaging, and advanced services of gastroenterology, pulmonary and thoracic. LIJ Forest Hills received the American Association of Critical Care Nurses’ Gold Level Beacon Award for Excellence in Critical Care, the only hospital in Queens with this distinction, and has advanced certification for bariatric surgeries, as well as for hip and knee replacements. The hospital’s state-of-the-art Women’s New Life Center was awarded Baby-Friendly status for its dedication to mother-child bonding and breastfeeding education. In addition, the surrounding Northwell Health outpatient network provides comprehensive, high-quality outpatient health care.

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