Asante is informing affected patients of a privacy incident involving their health information.
A concern was raised that a doctor with admitting privileges at Asante, Dr. Paul Hoffman, may have accessed a number of patients’ records without a valid clinical need. Dr. Hoffman is not an employee of Asante but had access to Asante’s electronic health record system in order to treat his patients when they are seen at Asante facilities.
Asante immediately launched an investigation into Dr. Hoffman’s access to patient records. Between December 30, 2022 and February 14, 2023, Asante completed review of Dr. Hoffman’s access to Asante records and discovered that his access to a number of records may have been without a valid clinical purpose.
Asante determined that Dr. Hoffman likely inappropriately accessed a number of patient records between the time frame of June 12, 2014 and January 3, 2023. This may have included patients’ names, demographic information, and diagnostic and treatment information. Dr. Hoffman did not have access to patients’ full social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, or payment card or bank account information.
In response to Asante’s investigation, it immediately terminated Dr. Hoffman’s access to its electronic health record system and is reporting his conduct to the Oregon Medical Board.
Asante utilizes electronic auditing systems that review every user’s access to its electronic health record system and attempts to identify cases of inappropriate access. In light of this incident, Asante is evaluating whether additional measures can be put in place to more quickly detect potentially inappropriate access to medical information by authorized users.
Asante’s investigation indicates that Dr. Hoffman accessed records out of curiosity rather than for any fraudulent purposes. Asante does not believe that potentially affected patients need to take any steps in response to this incident or that this incident increases their risk of identity theft.
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