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Santa Barbara Co. behavioral wellness dept. reports medical records breach

Santa Barbara County
Posted at 8:58 AM, Jun 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-14 11:58:41-04

The Department of Behavioral Wellness for Santa Barbara County is reporting a breach in medical record information.

The departments says it discovered Monday that a staff member back on March 30 used their credentials to log into the electronic records system to view client information, but adds that the audit showed no information was downloaded or printed.

“We regret that this incident occurred,” said Toni Navarro, Department of Behavioral Wellness director. “While an event like this should never have occurred, through this investigation, we have identified areas for strengthening our system and are making necessary improvements to avoid the likelihood of this occurring again.”

The department says some client names, addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers, Social Security numbers, insurance information, medical record numbers and some medical information were all compromised during the breach.

Everyone impacted has reportedly been notified.

“This breach was discovered as a result of the department proactively implementing a new security measure which immediately worked to call attention to this breach and will continue to serve this function going forward,” the department said in a press release, adding that, “Upon discovery of the breach, further access to client records was terminated and the department implemented all required and appropriate actions in regard to the employee who accessed the records.”

The department says ongoing audits will occur to ensure that staff are not able to access patient information for anything “outside of their scope of duties and updates will also be done “to current client outreach procedures to prevent a recurrence.”