Walter Reed reveals patient data breach

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Government-run Walter Reed joins growing number of hospitals with data breaches. Source: Walter Reed Society  

Walter Reed Army Medical Center administrators have reported that sensitive personal information for approximately 1,000 patients may have been revealed in a data breach.

The administrators learned of the potential exposure on May 21 from an outside data-mining company, which they did not identify.

“Preliminary results of an ongoing investigation have identified a computer from which the data was apparently compromised. Data security personnel from Walter Reed and the Department of the Army continue to investigate the source and causes for the information compromise,” according to a statement from Walter Reed.

Information in the data file included patient names, social security numbers and possibly dates of birth.

Walter Reed also said that it “has a robust information assurance program that meets all program standards and requirements. The compromised data file did not include protected health information such as medical records, diagnosis or prognosis for patients.”

The medical center, which is operated by the Department of Defense, said it is working to notify patients named in the data file that may have been compromised via postal letters and email on June 2. Walter Reed is offering the patients one year of free credit monitoring and related services.