The Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness has experienced a breach in medical record information.
On March 30, the department discovered that a staff member used their credentials to log in into the electronic medical record system and viewed client information An audit of the incident showed that no information was downloaded or printed.
“We regret that this incident occurred. 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,” said Toni Navarro, director for the Department of Behavioral Wellness in a news release Tuesday.
The breach resulted in the names, addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers, Social Security numbers, insurance information, medical record numbers and some medical information being compromised for affected clients. All clients with compromised information have been notified, according to the Department of Behavioral Wellness.
“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,” Suzanne Grimmesey, the department’s chief of strategy and community engagement, told the News-Press in an email.
When the breach was discovered, 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, according to the news release.
The department said audits continue to occur for this investigation and will continue on a regular basis to ensure that department staff are not accessing patient information outside of their scope of duties.
For more information, go to countyofsb.org/274/behavioral-wellness.
For assistance accessing Behavioral Wellness services, call the 24/7 toll free Crisis Response and Services Access Line at 888-868-1649.
For more information on identity theft, see the California Department of Justice, Privacy Unit’s website at oag.ca.gov/privacy. You can also contact the department toll free 24/7 Access Line at 888-868-1649.