Thousands of South Australian patients have been caught up in a data breach of a third-party digital care system used by SA Health.
Privately-owned digital health service provider, Personify Care said on October, 16 an unauthorised third-party deleted a specific folder within Personify Care’s infrastructure, which is used to store patient documents onto the platform.
As a result, the health information of 121 SA Health patients of the Central Adelaide Local Health Network and Southern Adelaide Local Health Network who used Personify’s Digital Patient Pathways platform to receive care remotely was deleted.
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The name and phone number of 12,624 Central Adelaide Local Health Network patients who were invited to use Personify care was also accessed.
But SA Health said an independent forensic analysis of the incident found no evidence of the data being copied or downloaded.
Department for Health and Wellbeing chief executive Robyn Lawrence said SA Health managed systems were not breached. Credit: 7NEWS
Department of Health and Wellbeing chief executive, Dr Robyn Lawrence, stressed there was no access or breach of any SA Health operated IT system.
Personify Care has since restored the data, and it will contact every patient who has been affected.
“SA Health is working closely with Personify Care to see all measures are taken to ensure this does not happen again,” Lawrence said.
“The Digital Patient Pathways is now safe and secure for SA Health patients to use, with all appropriate steps taken to verify that the incident was effectively resolved, and there is no further risk to patient information.”
Lawrence explained the deleted health information of the 121 patients was evidence they uploaded onto the system of them taking their medications, so their doctors could confirm it was being administered in line with protocol.
SA Health has used the Personify Care mobile platform since 2020.
The non-government company has engaged an expert advisory firm to provide an independent assessment of the additional measures they are implementing to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.
Personify Care chief executive, Ken Saman said the incident was detected by staff withing two hours.
“We have also confirmed the cause of the incident and that the corrective measures in place will prevent such incidents from recurring,” he said.
“The corrective measures have also been independently assessed by external security experts. Protecting your data security and privacy remain our top priorities.”
SA Health has established a 24/7 phone line for patients requiring more information. The number is 08 7111 3404.
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