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More than 2,000 patients' info hacked, UW Health says

MADISON, Wis. - More than 2,000 UW Health patients had some of their personal information compromised by an email hacking incident, the health care facility said Thursday.

UW Health said 2,036 patients were involved. The information was taken when a UW Health employee's email account was hacked on March 16. UW Health discovered the incident on March 28, according to a news release.

An unauthorized individual gained access to the employee's credentials and email account.

"We have no indication that the information in the emails has been used in any way," UW Health said in a statement on its website. It said it's notifying the patients involved as a precaution.

UW Health said only some information was potentially compromised, including patient names, addresses, dates of birth and names of their health providers. Medical history, patient conditions, reasons for visits, diagnostic results, social history and medications were also part of the hack.

UW Health said it's working on measures to prevent something a similar breach from happening in the future.

"We are reviewing the incident and reinforcing educational efforts with employees and providers regarding emails and patient confidentiality," UW Health said.

Medical records, Social Security numbers, credit card, health insurance numbers or financial information were not taken, according to a news release.

UW Health emphasized that the incident did not affect all its patients, only those whose information was contained in the email account that was breached.

The patients whose information was hacked will be notified by letter. The facility also set up a call center to answer patient questions: 888-742-9174. Patients can call Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.