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Ascend Healthcare System Medical Transcription Service May Have Released Patient Information

In accordance with applicable laws, Children’s National Health System is issuing the following notice related to the potential release of medical information for a limited group of patients. We have no reason to believe at this time that the information has been viewed by unauthorized parties or that it has been taken or misused.

Washington, DC ---- Ascend Healthcare Systems (Ascend) provided medical transcription services to Children’s National Medical Center (Children’s National) between May 1, 2014 and June 23, 2014, along with other healthcare providers nationally. On February 25, 2016, Children’s National became aware that Ascend, an outside dictation vendor required under contract to maintain privacy of patient records, had inadvertently misconfigured a file site that contained patient information. This might have allowed access from the Internet to transcription documents for as many as 4,107 Children’s National patients via a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server from February 19, 2016 to February 25, 2016.

The information in question did not contain billing or financial information or Social Security numbers and Children’s National is reaching out to the individuals whose data were potentially accessible.

As soon as the health system became aware of the issue, the transcription company, Ascend, was contacted and asked to re-secure the site and remove the transcription documents from the Ascend server. Children’s National is not aware of any unauthorized access to or misuse of these documents.

Patient data on the site may have included names, dates of birth, medication, and physicians’ notes regarding diagnosis and treatment.

Children’s National ceased doing business with Ascend on June 23, 2014, and as part of that separation Ascend was contractually obligated to delete all Children’s patient information.

If you think you may fall within the category of patient identified above and have questions or concerns, please call 1-844-807-7794, toll free Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. EST.  Additional information can be found at childrensnational.org.

Children’s National regrets any concern this incident may cause.


About Children's National Health System

Children’s National Health System, based in Washington, D.C., has served the nation’s children since 1870. Children’s National is one of the nation’s Top 5 pediatric hospitals and, for a second straight year, is ranked No. 1 in newborn care, as well as ranked in all specialties evaluated by U.S. News & World Report. It has been designated two times as a Magnet® hospital, a designation given to hospitals that demonstrate the highest standards of nursing and patient care delivery. This pediatric academic health system offers expert care through a convenient, community-based primary care network and specialty outpatient centers in the D.C. Metropolitan area, including the Maryland suburbs and Northern Virginia. Home to the Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is the seventh-highest NIH-funded pediatric institution in the nation. Children’s National is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as a strong voice for children through advocacy at the local, regional and national levels. 

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