CANTON — Some patients at Aultman Hospital, Aultman physician offices and AultWorks Occupational Medicine may have had personal health and identification information stolen in a data breach.

Aultman said in a news release that unknown and unauthorized individuals gained access to certain email accounts in February and March.

Aultman Health Foundation, which first became aware of the breach on March 28, has begun notifying some of the patients affected.

"We take patient privacy very seriously, so we deeply regret that this occurred," said Tim Regula, vice president of compliance and audit, Aultman Health Foundation. According to Regula, the amount of data that could have been accessed varied for each patient.

If a Social Security number or driver’s license was involved, Aultman will offer credit monitoring services, provided at no charge. Aultman also has established a dedicated hotline that will open Tuesday (May 29) where affected patients can ask questions and seek additional assistance. That hotline number is 855-804-8585.

Aultman said there is no indication any of the information in the email accounts has been inappropriately used by anyone.

As a precautionary measure, Regula urged everyone to take appropriate steps to protect their personal information. Patients should review and monitor their account statements, explanation of benefits (EOB) forms and free credit reports for any unauthorized activity. Aultman indicated that any unauthorized or suspicious activity should be reported immediately to the appropriate authorities, including law enforcement.

"We understand that a threat to one’s personal data can be upsetting, and we apologize for this breach," Regula said. "We are making it a top priority for our organization and are assigning resources and staff to this issue to help those patients affected by this incident. We want to make sure they do everything they can to protect their personal information. If you have any questions about this incident, please call our dedicated assistance hotline."