Terrell Co. patient medical info compromised by employee
DAWSON, GA (WALB) -
A lot of people in Terrell County are worried their identities are at risk after hearing that an employee at the County Health Department is accused of stealing patients' personal information.
The Dawson Police Chief tells us he plans to take out warrants against the worker soon.
A lot of folks in Terrell County are shocked and upset over Tuesday's news. Michael Grier is one of them.
"For something like that to happen, it angers me a little bit," said Grier.
Southwest Health District officials say about 18,000 patients are at risk as an investigation continues into a Terrell County Health Department worker accused of stealing patients' personal information.
Police don't know how many are affected
"Yes it's somewhat disheartening because a lot of people in the city and county they trust people with that information," said Grier.
"We certainly take these kinds of issues or allegations very seriously and any time there is some allegation we will of course do our own investigation," said Southwest Health District Health Director Dr. Jacqueline Grant.
District Health officials say the worker passed pre-employment screenings. Now, they plan to revamp the hiring process to make sure this doesn't happen again.
"It's very difficult because you do your background checks and nothing is there. You fingerprint, you train, you have policies and procedures in place, you would hope that would be enough, but we're in the process now of looking at of other measures," said Dr. Grant.
As for Grier, he says Tuesday's news won't deter him in the future if he needs the department's services.
"Right now I don't use them as much, but if I had to, I would," said Grier.
"Angry somewhat, but I don't have any reason to mistrust them. I haven't had any reason in the past to mistrust them," he continued.
Southwest Health District officials say the employee has been suspended without pay and she can no longer access information at the health department.
Police and health officials recommend all patients of the Terrell County Health department check their credit reports for any fraudulent activity.