Henry Ford Health System, a six-hospital delivery system serving metropolitan Detroit, has begun notifying 18,470 patients following a hacking attack.
The organization on October 3 learned that one or more unknown attackers gained access to or stole the email credentials of a group of employees; the emails also contained protected health information.
Using the email credentials, the perpetrators would have had access to the email accounts of the employees, the health system said in a notice to media outlets.
Compromised information may have included patient names, dates of birth, medical record numbers, provider names, dates of service, department names, locations, medical conditions and health insurers. However, Social Security numbers and credit card information were not compromised.
“To reduce future risk of this happening again, we are strengthening our security protections for employees, all of whom will be educated about this measure in the coming weeks,” a public statement by Henry Ford indicated.
“In addition, we are expediting our initiatives around email retention and multi-factor authentication, which will decrease future risks to our patients and employees. To provide protection to our patients, new medical record numbers will be issued upon request,” the announcement indicated.
Executives of Henry Ford Health System did not respond to questions on whether protective services, such as credit monitoring or identity theft protection, are being offered to affected individuals.