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Private records of 21,000 Orange County hospital patients exposed

February 16, 2012 |  9:14 am

OC Hospital

The private medical records of more than 21,000 hospital patients at two Orange County hospitals may have been inadvertently made public online.

St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton and Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach -- as well as an additional 9,000 patients in Northern California -- were affected by the security glitch, which allowed people to search and find what were supposed to be private medical records, including names, lab results, medications, allergies, body mass index and demographic information, KTLA-TV reported.

The hospitals say there are no reports of anyone actually accessing the confidential records.

"I think that the most important thing is that our response was rapid," Dr. Clyde West of St. Joseph Health System said in a statement. "We have secured the sites and this information is not available any longer."

The security breach went on for an entire year, until an attorney for one patient raised a red flag. The problem occurred because hospital computers did not have accurate security settings, KTLA reported.

Hospital officials said patients' Social Security numbers and financial information were not accessible.


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-- KTLA News

Photo: St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton. Credit: KTLA-TV