Privacy Breach Affects 850 St. Francis Hospital Patients

Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center has reached out to more than 850 patients after records were stolen from a doctor’s vehicle in December to notify them of the privacy breach.

The hospital released a statement saying it has notified 858 patients after learning that paper records were stolen from Dr. Bindu Vanapalli’s vehicle on December 27.

Vanapalli is an independent contractor physician who works in the Emergency Department at Saint Francis, according to the hospital, and information stolen included certain demographic information printed on patient labels, such as patient name, date of birth and medical record number.

The hospital said no social security numbers, financial information, or addresses were included in the stolen material. 

The hospital is located in Hartford, but the theft happened in New Haven, and New Haven Police have been involved in the investigation.

Saint Francis said it has added internal information safeguards and offered credit monitoring for up to two years to the 858 patients.

Patients with any questions about the privacy breach should call 1-866-328-1993 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

The hospital said they do not have evidence that there have been attempts to gain inappropriate access to any information pertaining to these patients.

 “Our goal has always been to help ensure adequate safeguards are in place to protect our patients’ confidentiality. Education of our staff has already been completed and we are evaluating other opportunities to strengthen our compliance program,” John Rodis, M.D., executive vice president and chief operating officer and chief physician executive, said.

The hospital said removing patient information from the hospital is a violation of policy and disciplinary action has been taken.


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