Published: Nov 26, 2013 4:19 PM EST
Updated: Nov 26, 2013 6:55 PM EST

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - A physicians group with ties to Charlotte County has notified thousands of its patients their health information may have been breached.

Florida Digestive Health Specialists has offices across Southwest Florida.  One is in Port Charlotte.

In a release, the privacy officer with Florida Digestive Health Specialists says this impacted 44-hundred patients.

Leaders discovered an employee improperly accessed and photographed patients' data.  These records included things like patient names, dates of birth, social security numbers and telephone numbers.

The privacy officer goes on to say that Florida Digestive Health Specialists immediately terminated the employee.  Leaders are working with the Manatee County Sheriff's office and the IRS to identify anyone who may have received that personal information.

Folks with the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office tell us right now, they are not investigating any cases of identity theft involved in this case.

Florida Digestive Health Specialist services is encouraging patients they contacted to place fraud alerts on their credit reports and to continue to montor them.  They are also looking at how they can improve their security systems to make sure this doesn't happen again.

Florida Digestive Health Specialists has 18 offices from Largo to Port Charlotte.