MARINETTE — While preparing the former Bay Area Medical Center on Shore Drive for sale in July, Advocate Aurora Health discovered certain hard copy files — containing personal and/or health information — were left behind in unsecure areas, according to a press release from Advocate Aurora Health. While the facility has not been used as a hospital since August 2018, there has been limited public use of the building after the hospital transferred operations to its new location.
The privacy and security of patient information is a top priority of Advocate Aurora, according to the release. Upon discovering the issue, Advocate Aurora launched an internal investigation and took steps to ensure the security of materials containing patient information.
As of this date, Advocate Aurora Health is not aware of any improper use of any of the patient information, but out of an abundance of caution, is notifying all potentially affected patients and offering complimentary credit monitoring for one year.
The types of information varied from patient to patient, and in many cases the records were several years old. Some files contained fragments of personal and/or health information, while others had more detailed information. The types of information may have included: the patient’s first and/or last name; date of birth; phone number(s); street address; emergency contacts; social security number; medical record number; gender; height and weight; dates of service; exam or lab results; diagnoses; medications; employer information; and health insurance information.
“We encourage all potentially affected patients to regularly review financial accounts and report any suspicious or unrecognized activity immediately,” according to Advocate Aurora Health. “Advocate Aurora regrets any inconvenience this has caused.”
Advocate Aurora Health urges patients with questions about the incident to call 888-274-8110.