BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - DENT Neurologic Institute admits it mistakenly sent out e-mails containing the personal information of 10,000 patients.
Officials for the company say an e-mail was sent to 200 recipients that contained an attachment with private personal medical information belonging to as many as 10,000 DENT patients. The information contained in the attachment included the following information:
- Active/Former Patient
- Last Appointment
- Scheduling Code
- Primary Physician
- Referring Physician
- E-mail Address
DENT says it has contacted all 200 people who received the information to advise them the institute had mistakenly sent them the information and requested they delete the e-mail.
DENT CEO Joseph Fritz said, "We are very sorry this happened and we deeply apologize to all of our patients, referring physicians and WNY healthcare partners. Patient confidentiality is extremely important in our field and we take it very seriously and we will review how this accident happened so we can take steps to minimize the possibilities it could ever happen again. This is an inexcusable event."
DENT says the attachment did not contain any medical diagnoses, Social Security numbers, financial information, date of birth or contact phone numbers.
It remains unclear if in sending out this information DENT violated the privacy rights of their patients under HIPAA. The institute says it self-reported the incident to the State Health Department.
Officials say a clerk in the institute's administrative office mistakenly attached the document. DENT says it will be sending a letter of apology and explanation to all of their 10,000 patients and their referring physicians, whose names appear on the list.
DENT operates medical offices in Amherst, Orchard Park, Batavia and Derby. Anyone with further concerns can call 716-250-2000.
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