Protecting patient confidentiality is a top priority for everyone at Western Connecticut Health Network (“WCHN”). This notice describes a privacy incident that may have involved information pertaining to some WCHN patients and explains measures we have taken in response.
On June 21, 2019, WCHN learned that a box containing medical records that it had sent via the United States Postal Service (“USPS”) to the Connecticut State Department of Public Health (“DPH”) had broken open during shipping and its contents were damaged. WCHN had sent the box of medical records to the DPH on June 11, 2019, in accordance with its reporting requirements under Connecticut law.
Upon learning of the incident, WCHN immediately launched an investigation and worked with the USPS to retrieve the damaged box. On July 9, 2019, the box was returned by the USPS to WCHN. WCHN has no indication that the box of medical records ever left USPS custody until it was returned to WCHN.
WCHN then undertook a comprehensive review of the medical records that were returned in the damaged box. Through this review, WCHN determined that the box contained reports for some WCHN patients, which included patient names, addresses, dates of birth, medical record numbers, provider names, medical record numbers, dates of diagnosis, diagnoses, and diagnostic test information. WCHN has no evidence that any information that was in the damaged box has been misused.
WCHN regrets any inconvenience or concern this may cause. To help prevent an incident like this from happening in the future, WCHN is changing its procedures regarding the transmission of patient information to the DPH. We encourage you to regularly review your insurance statements and explanations of benefits to ensure that they are accurate.
WCHN will begin mailing notification letters to potentially affected patients on August 19, 2019, and has established a dedicated incident response line to answer any questions. If you believe you may be affected by this incident but did not receive a letter by August 30, 2019, please call 833-762-0225, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., Eastern Time.