HOUSTON -

Memorial Hermann Hospital is apologizing after a former employee accessed the medical records of more than 10,000 patients.

A hospital spokesperson tells Local 2 News that protecting and securing patient information is a top priority. Letters are going out to those patients right now and Memorial Hermann has set up a call center for those who've been affected.

The case broke wide open last month. A hospital spokesperson tells Local 2 on July 7 the hospital learned a former employee had accessed the electronic medical records of 10,604 patients outside of the employee's normal job duties. This went on for almost seven years -- from December 2007 to July 2014, according to the hospital.

The patients' medical records include everything from health insurance information and in some cases, Social Security numbers. Names, addresses and dates of birth were also on the records. Memorial Hermann insists patients' financial information, such as credit cards or bank accounts, was not accessed.

It's unclear what the former employee was doing with the personal information or if that person will face criminal charges.

The hospital says privacy training is mandatory for all employees and privacy policies and practices are continually updated.