This database was last updated in December 2015 ago and should only be used as a historical snapshot. More recent data on breaches affecting 500 or more people is available at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Breach Portal.

Phoenix VA Health Care System


Mentioned in a privacy incident report created by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on September 20, 2013. Also cited in 102 other reports.

Report ID: PSETS0000094922, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Reported Entity: PHOENIX AZ - 644


Today, 9/20/2013, a privacy incident was reported to PO as part of a VISN18 Suspense. A facility physician emailed Senator John McCain expressing several Veteran concerns. The email disclosed five suicide cases which included the Veterans first name and last initial of last name, manner and method of death, age, service connection, hospitalization dates, diagnoses, symptoms, chart notes from other physicians, chart notes from non-VHA providers, nurses notes, and social factors. Portions of the materials disclosed appear to be direct chart quotes. Physician also describes other suicide cases reviewed and her conclusions. Upon report to facility, sensitive chart audit logs were run. There were 42 identified suicide cases, where were referenced. Nine cases were sensitized charts; review of SPAR audit trail confirmed physicians access. Physicians Supervisor disavowed role based need to access chart or other project assignment. There was no known authorized access to Veteran charts that were alleged to commit suicide. However, the physician did provide authorization to the Senators office for disclosure of the materials she submitted. This affirms her identity. Incident response team called. Physicians chart access is removed; Mondays clinical duties will be reassigned as necessary pending administrative actions. Additional notification and investigation pending.


09/24/13: After further investigation, the physician has accessed fifteen known charts with out proper authorization. The physician released five deceased Veterans' PHI to the Senator's office. Those five Veteran's next-of-kin will be sent letters of notificatoin.

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