LEWES, Del.- Beebe Healthcare released a statement last week explaining how patient information could be compromised due to a rogue employee.
According to the statement, temporary contractor had access to thousands of patients files. Beebe Healthcare said that after she did not show up to work for several days, a co-worker investigated and discovered the woman had a criminal background involving identity theft.
Beebe Healthcare Chief Compliance Officer Jackye Emory, the hospital immediately hired a forensics team and determined no files had been misused. However, the hospital still is offering credit monitoring services to the 1,9000 patients whose files are compromised.
Emory explained that the employee's whereabouts are still unknown but she is removed completely from the system.
"She was contracted to us by a staffing agency and all staffing agencies perform background checks on their employees which they did do," Emory said. "Her background check did not show any criminal activity on it."
After discovering the woman's criminal history, the hospital performed background checks on all its contracted employees and plans to do its own background checks from now on.
Lewes residents are still uneasy about the idea of a security breach at a hospital.
"It's a scary world we live in these days and you want to feel protected and you want to make sure your identity is safe at all times," Tina Jacono said. "When a hospital is not safe then you feel like, where is?"
Emory recommended patients continuing to monitor their credit, but not too be too worried.
"I feel very comfortable that the investigation we did was very thorough, very detailed, it took us a little over a month to complete it," she said. " [I'm] comfortable that no information has been compromised from that."
The incident affects patients at three of Beebe's Physician practices: Beebe Internal Medicine in Lewes, Beebe Family Practice in Millville and Beebe Pulmonary Associates.
As a precaution, Beebe is providing credit protection services for patients. The Call Center that will be available Monday through Friday, beginning Feb. 3 from 9 a.m.-7 p.m., to answer any questions. If you are concerned that you may be affected but do not receive a letter by Feb. 21, call 1-866-264-1054 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m.-7 p.m.