ProMedica reports records breach at Bixby and Herrick Hospitals


Approximately 3,500 patients have been contacted since June 2 by ProMedica Bixby and Herrick Hospitals regarding a potential breach of their private medical records. According to an internal investigation, seven employees of ProMedica accessed medical records for patients they were not directly treating, without a valid business or clinical reason. The potential breach was discovered on April 7. The violations occurred between May 1, 2014 and April 26, 2016. The information accessed may have included the patient’s full name, address, phone number, date of birth, insurance, diagnosis, medications and other clinical information.

Dr. Julie Yaroch, President of ProMedica Bixby and Herrick Hospitals, says the company deeply regrets the invasion of privacy and wishes to apologize to those who had their information breached. “The actions of these few employees do not reflect the standards of ProMedica,” Yaroch said. “We applaud the employee who came forward to bring this to our attention. The privacy of our patients is of utmost priority.”

Patients have begun to receive letters explaining the situation. The hospitals also reported the incident to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Based on a comprehensive internal audit, it does not appear that the employees intended to retain or use the information accessed.

Hospital officials have taken appropriate disciplinary action against the employees. Three employees principally involved are no longer working for ProMedica. The four other employees are having disciplinary action taken against them. Due to legal reasons, ProMedica cannot release the names of those employees involved in the breach.

“These individuals no longer have access to ProMedica health records, and this won’t stop with an internal investigation,” Yaroch said. “We have reported this to federal authorities who will investigate further.”

Based on ProMedica’s investigation into the issue, the employees involved were accessing the information simply out of curiosity, according to Yaroch.

“A lot of interviews were done,” Yaroch said. “We did talk with them to see what they were looking for, and it didn’t appear they were looking to do anything with the information.”

A breach of patient medical records has not happened before at either ProMedica Bixby or Herrick Hospital. To prevent any further health information breaches, the hospital will provide additional training for employees to ensure they understand and follow the policies for accessing medical records. ProMedica has also implemented a proactive auditing program that includes software monitoring tools to monitor employee activity on patient medical records.

“We take situations like this very seriously,” Yaroch said. “We want to reiterate our deep regrets that this occurred.”

The hospital only mailed letters to patients whose medical records were involved in this potential health information breach. Patients who did not receive a letter, but still have questions or concerns, may contact the hospital at


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