Froedtert patients want answers in possible cyber attack
Tom Murray and The WTMJ News Team
Photo: Video by tmj4.com
CREATED Feb. 17, 2013 - UPDATED: Feb. 17, 2013
WAUWATOSA - Froedtert Hospital patients are on edge about their personal information after the hospital notified them that a hacker may have accessed their records.
The patient TODAY'S TMJ4 spoke with says the letter she got from Froedtert is long, frightening and confusing.
Now, she says it's a big hassle to ensure her personal information is safe.
"I kind of got depressed right after I saw it," patient Lisa Kirchberg says.
Kirchberg is one of about 43,000 patients that got the letter. It says a hacker may have gained access to her address, social security number and even her medical records.
"I mean, for them to write a two-page, single spaced letter and on the back it says 'if I have more problems, I should contact the Shorewood Police," Kirchberg says. "I am so tired. I just need to rest and get well and this did not help."
What's more upsetting is that the notification says Froedtert found out about the computer breach back in Decemeber.
The letter is dated February and just arrived in the mail.
"It says I should immediately contact [someone]," Kirchberg says.
"Why should I do it immediately? It took them two months."
A hospital spokesperson declined an on-camera interview with TODAY'S TMJ4 when asked last week, but instead sent a statement:
"The risk to these patients is small, but notifying them is the right thing to do. We're very sorry for any concerns this may cause. Unfortunately, such computer attacks are increasingly common, affecting organizations worldwide. We are reviewing our information security practices to help prevent this from happening again."
Kirchberg just wants to be assured that her personal information is not compromised.
"It's scary because I value my credit rating."
As mentioned, the hospital notified about 43,000 patients.
These patients received care at Froedtert Hospital or a number of the group's sites in southeast Wisconsin.