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(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – The County of Santa Barbara Department of Behavioral Wellness has experienced a breach in medical record information. On March 30, 2022, the department discovered that a staff member used their credentials to log into the electronic medical record system and viewed client information. An audit of the incident showed that no information was downloaded or printed.
Toni Navarro, Director for the Department of Behavioral Wellness states, “We regret that this incident occurred.” “While an event like this should never have occurred, through this investigation, we have identified areas for strengthening our system and are making necessary improvements to avoid the likelihood of this occurring again,” says Navarro.
The breach resulted in the names, addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers, Social Security numbers, insurance information, medical record numbers and some medical information being compromised for affected clients. All clients with compromised information have been notified.
This breach was discovered as a result of the department proactively implementing a new security measure which immediately worked to call attention to this breach and will continue to serve this function going forward. Upon discovery of the breach, further access to client records was terminated and the department implemented all required and appropriate actions in regard to the employee who accessed the records. Ongoing audits continue to occur for this investigation and will continue on a regular basis to ensure that department staff are not accessing patient information outside of their scope of duties. Additional security audits will continue, as well as updates to current client outreach procedures, to prevent a recurrence.
For more information on identity theft, you may visit the Web site of the California Department of Justice, Privacy Unit at oag.ca.gov/privacy. You can also contact the department toll free 24/7 Access Line at 888-868-1649 for questions or assistance.
To learn more about County of Santa Barbara Department of Behavioral Wellness, please visit countyofsb.org/274/Behavioral-Wellness. For assistance accessing Behavioral Wellness services, call the 24/7 toll free Crisis Response and Services Access Line at (888) 868-1649.