Boston Hospital’s Vendor Announces Patient Data Breach

The hospital did not disclose how many patients were affected in the breach.

A third party vendor for Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston disclosed a data breach June 29 that compromised an unspecified amount of patient information.

The hospital, also known as MGH, announced that patient names, dates of birth and social security numbers were accessed by an unauthorized person in February, according to a press release.

The information was being held by Patterson Dental Supply, which provides software that helps manage dental practice information for MGH and other hospitals. Police investigators say that an individual accessed electronic files on the company’s system.

RELATED: Study: 1 in 2 Hospitals Use 2-Factor Authentification for Patient Info Security

Patterson Dental Supply waited to announce the breach or notify all potentially affected individuals until the police investigation was complete. Law enforcement gave the company permission to publicly acknowledge the breach in May, and it was learned then that MGH dental practice information had also been affected.

“We are committed to the security of sensitive information maintained by our third-party vendors and are taking this matter very seriously,” MGH says in a statement. “To help prevent this type of incident from happening again, PDSI took steps to enhance the security of its systems that maintain dental practice data.”

MGH has begun mailing letters to affected individuals and has opened a call center to handle patient concerns.

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