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New York's Dent Neurologic Institute (DNI) recently announced that an employee mistakenly attached patient information to an e-mail sent to approximately 200 patients on May 13, 2013 (h/t Becker's Hospital Review).
The attachment contained 10,000 patient names, mailing addresses, e-mail addresses, primary physicians, referring physicians, last appointment and scheduling code. No diagnoses, Social Security numbers, birthdates, financial data or phone numbers were exposed, according to DNI.
DNI CEO Joseph Fritz says the error was discovered right after it occurred, and DNI personnel began immediately calling the 200 people who mistakenly received the information to ask them to delete it. The institute plans to send a letter of apology and explanation to all 10,000 patients affected, as well as their referring physicians.
"We are very sorry this happened and we deeply apologize to all of our patients, referring physicians and WNY healthcare partners," Fritz said in a statement. "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."
Patients with questions are advised to call (716) 250-2000 during business hours, or (716) 558-3534 after hours.